Following the lead of other large cities, the Los Angeles City Council by a 14-1 vote on Wednesday decided to replace Columbus Day to commemorate “indigenous, aboriginal and native people” on the second Tuesday of October.
There is a movement across America to replace Columus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. Other cities that have done so are: Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver, Albuquerque and Saint Paul.
The vote came over the objections of Italian American civic groups.
The effort to eliminate Columbus Day was brought by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation tribe in Oklahoma, who argued that the replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day would provide “restorative justice.”
Many American Indians have long resisted the observance of a day to honor Christopher Columbus, who is credited with “discovering” the Americas in American history.
The American Indian Movement has long sought to eliminate the observance of Columbus Day. Here is language from a press released distributed by the American Indian Movement in October 2000:
“Columbus was the beginning of the American holocaust, ethnic cleansing characterized by murder, torture, raping, pillaging, robbery, slavery, kidnapping, and forced removals of Indian people from their homelands.”
Some states do not observe Columbus Day, including Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota. The day has been a federal holiday since 1937.
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