CASPER, Wyo. — The home of the nation’s capital will be celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day rather than Columbus Day this year.
“After 5 years, the Council has approved emergency legislation renaming Columbus Day as #IndigenousPeoplesDay,” D.C. Councilman David Grosso said via Twitter after the Tuesday, Oct. 8 vote.
Grosso introduced the emergency resolution, pointing out that Christopher Columbus wasn’t the first European in the Americas.
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“’This move is not controversial,'” Grosso said in a statement ahead of the vote. “‘Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, North Carolina, Alaska, South Dakota, Oregon, and at least 130 cities and towns have now renamed the holiday, according to the New York Times.'”
“‘I know many schools use the holiday to honor Indigenous People instead of Christopher Columbus; and frankly, it’s an accident of history that Columbus is honored in this way.'”
He added that Columbus never stepped foot on what would come to be United States territory.
“’Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated, and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas,'” Grosso added.
“’We cannot continue to allow this history to be celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia. The government of the District of Columbia is clear that we are a government that values equality, diversity, and inclusion. Continuing to observe a holiday built on the celebration of oppression runs counter to those values.'”