Christopher Is Out, It's Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Christopher Is Out, It's Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Christopher Is Out, It's Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country.  As the U.S. observes Columbus Day on Monday, it will also be Indigenous Peoples Day in at least nine cities for the first time this year, including Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Olympia, Washington.

Encouraged by city council votes in Minneapolis and Seattle last year, Native American activists made a push in dozens of cities in recent months to get local leaders to officially recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Their success was mixed.

The campaigns say the federal holiday honoring Christopher Columbus -- and the parades and pageantry accompanying it -- overlook a painful history of colonialism, enslavement, discrimination and land grabs that followed the Italian explorer's 1492 arrival in the Americas. The indigenous holiday takes into account the history and contributions of Native Americans for a more accurate historical record, activists have argued.

Columbus Day supporters say the holiday celebrates centuries of cultural exchange between America and Europe, commemorates an iconic explorer and honors Italian-Americans, a group that has endured its own share of discrimination.

"For the Native community here, Indigenous Peoples Day means a lot. We actually have something," said Nick Estes of Albuquerque, who is coordinating a celebration Monday after the City Council recently issued a proclamation. "We understand it's just a proclamation, but at the same time, we also understand this is the beginning of something greater."

 

Read full story: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/32317591-story