National

Instead of Columbus Day, Some U.S. Cities Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day

Berkeley, California has observed Indigenous People's Day since 1994. This year Seattle and Minneapolis have followed suit. (Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr/CC license)
Berkeley, California has observed Indigenous People’s Day since 1994. This year Seattle and Minneapolis have followed suit. (Quinn Dombrowski/Flickr/CC license)

Emanuella Gringberg, CNN

 

SEATTLE (CNN)—Columbus Day often brings to mind the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. This Monday, some cities and states would rather you think of the Sioux, the Suquamish and the Chippewa.

For the first time this year, Seattle and Minneapolis will recognize the second Monday in October as “Indigenous People’s Day.” The cities join a growing list of jurisdictions choosing to shift the holiday’s focus from Christopher Columbus to the people he encountered in the New World and their modern-day descendants.

The Seattle City Council voted last week to reinvent the holiday to celebrate “the thriving cultures and values of Indigenous Peoples in our region.” The Minneapolis City Council approved a similar measure in April “to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwa and other indigenous nations add to our city.”

The Seattle School Board followed suit along with Portland Public Schools, where officials say Indigenous People’s Day will not replace Columbus Day but supplement it. Schools across the country have been working for years to clarify Columbus’ role in history.
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