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Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples' Day?

October 14, 2019

People look on at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2016 at Seattle's City Hall. Seattle began observing Indigenous Peoples' Day two years earlier to promote the well-being and growth of Seattle's Indigenous community.

Elaine Thompson/AP

 

 

On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent.

 

Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

 

Baley Champagne is responsible for that change in her home state of Louisiana. The tribal citizen of the United Houma Nation petitioned the governor, John Bel Edwards, to change the day. He did, along with several other states this year.

 

"It's become a trend," Champagne said. "It's about celebrating people instead of thinking about somebody who actually caused genocide on a population or tried to cause the genocide of an entire population.

 

By bringing Indigenous Peoples' Day, we're bringing awareness that we're not going to allow someone like that to be glorified into a hero, because of the hurt that he caused to Indigenous people of America."

 

And so in