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By APB Staff Writer
Monday October 12, 2015
A growing number of cities are abolishing the traditional Columbus Day holiday on the second Monday of October and replacing it with a day that celebrates the millions of people who were already living here when Christopher Columbus arrived, according to the Washington Post, adding that the renamed holiday, known as Indigenous Peoples Day, will take place in at least nine cities across the United States including Albuquerque, New Mexico, Portland, Oregon, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
As NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio marched up Fifth Avenue today – chances are he is giving this good thought as well for New York City.
“For the Native community here, Indigenous Peoples Day means a lot,” Nick Estes of Albuquerque, who is involved with planning the city’s Indigenous Peoples celebration, was quoted by the Washington Post. “We actually have something. We understand it’s just a proclamation, but at the same time, we also understand this is the beginning of something greater.”
Columbus Day supporters argue that the explorer symbolizes the beginning of cultural exchange between Europe and the Americas. But now, according to the Washington Post, supporters of the holiday, such as Anna Vann — a member of the Sons of Italy’s Denver Lodge — have been unable to ignore the varying opinions on the holiday.
“It’s been a struggle to even get people to come and attend the parades as spectators,” Vann was quoted in the article. “It’s a celebration of when the Europeans came over and started their lives here. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for this history.”
The holiday’s new designation follows a decades-long push by Native American activists in dozens of cities across the country to abolish Columbus Day, and they have had mixed but increasingly successful results, the Post report claimed.
The next community to consider the change is Oklahoma City, where local leaders are scheduled this week to vote, on a bill implementing Indigenous Peoples Day.
So what’s next for New York City – change it or leave it as is.