The holiday glorifying Columbus as a violent colonizer has been abolished in 9 major cities and is no longer recognized in many US states.
In two days, many Americans will celebrate Columbus Day, a holiday commemorating Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World. As the discussion has opened up about what truly took place in 1492, however, many are rethinking what it actually stands for and are moving to eradicate the holiday which glorifies Columbus as a violent colonizer.
As of October 10th, 2015, nine cities have so far chosen to rename the holiday to something more acceptable: Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Berkeley, California was the first major U.S. city to eliminate Columbus Day, and the reasoning behind the change is catching on. As The Oregonian reports, a number of states, including Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, and South Dakota, do not recognize the holiday.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The city’s formal declaration “encourages businesses, organizations and public entities to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, which shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that our Indigenous nations add to our City.”
Since September, students from Haskell University in Lawrence, Kansas have been taking initiative and pushing for the city to honor their ancestors by declaring October 12th Indigenous Peoples’ day. On October 7th of this year, they won.
Portland’s City Council declared Indigenous Peoples’ day on Tuesday (October 9th), something tribal leaders have been seeking since 1954.
St. Paul, MN
In August, St. Paul followed Minneapolis by declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Minneapolis passed its own resolution last year.
Bexar County, TX
The resolution was passed Tuesday, and local activists intend to press for the same thing in San Antonio.
In September, Anadarko declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Anadarko Mayor Kyle Eastwood signed the proclamation while surrounded by tribal leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware, Wichita and others.
Mayor Pro Tem Nathaniel Jones presented Olympia’s proclamation at a rally in August. Nearly 150 people showed up to support the initiative.
In September, Mayor Matt Waligora declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The city says they desire “to develop a strong and productive relationship with all indigenous peoples, including the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, based on mutual respect and trust.”
Just yesterday (October 9th), Seattle became the latest major US city to swap Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “The news was heralded by the sound of drums and loud cheers, and an impromptu singing of the American Indian Movement song in City Hall,” reports RT.
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