Los Angeles City Council Nixes Columbus Day

Wednesday vote eliminated holiday from the calendar and renamed it 'Indigenous Peoples Day.'

August 31, 2017 9:18 am
L.A. City Council Votes to Change Name of Columbus Day to 'Indigenous Peoples Day'
Christopher Columbus showing objects to Native Americans upon landing. (Library of Congress)

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue—and then brutally enslaved, raped, and murdered myriad indigenous peoples.

That’s at least how the Los Angeles City Council saw it yesterday when they voted to nix Columbus Day from the city’s calendar and replace it with a day honoring “indigenous, aboriginal and native people,” per the Los Angeles Times. It’s been renamed Indigenous Peoples Day.

Groups of Italian-Americans in the area voiced opposition to the move, as Columbus Day has long marked when the Italian explorer landed in the Caribbean, discovering and eventually, helping to spur on the colonization of the New World.

Despite the name-change, Indigenous Peoples Day will still be a paid holiday for city workers.

The name-change was spurred on by two city councilmen—one with Native American heritage, the other, with Italian ancestry—with two different ideas of why the long-standing holiday should be renamed.

One councilman, Mike Bonin, who has Italian ancestry, said, “This gesture of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends.” He also argued that Columbus Day misrepresented what Italian-Americans stood for: “[We came here to] build something and not to destroy something.”

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