Move Over Columbus, Indigenous People Day Is Here To Replace Yours, At Least In These Cities

Columbus Day is so last century that these days, progressive municipalities have wiped the holiday from their calendars and replaced it with Indigenous People Day. RT reports at least nine cities in the U.S. have recently pressed for Indigenous People Day to take the place of Columbus Day, and eight of them have passed resolutions in the last couple of months to swap out Columbus Day for Indigenous People Day.

Take Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, the city council voted six to three on Thursday to replace Columbus Day. The city has a new proclamation for every October 12 to follow.

“Albuquerque recognizes the occupation of New Mexico’s homelands for the building of our City and knows indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial and values the process of our society accomplished through and by American Indian thought, culture, technology.”

Alburquerque officials recognized that replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People Day is “an effort to reveal a more accurate historical record of the ‘discovery’ of the United States of America” that will recognize the contributions of Indigenous people despite 500 years of efforts against the natives of the land.

Meanwhile, in Lawrence, Kansas, the efforts for Indigenous People Day started with students from Haskell University. The day will honor their ancestors.

Tuesday, Portland joined in the revolution against Columbus Day, declaring it Indigenous People Day. Tribal leaders in Portland have been trying to make this happen since 1954, and finally, a half-century later, the day has arrived.

In 1977, at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the idea of outing Columbus in favor of Indigenous People Day was first presented on a larger scale.

Bexas County, Texas celebrates Indigenous People Day this year, along with St. Paul, Minnesota, Newstead, New York, Olympia, Washington, Bellingham, and Minneapolis. In Oklahoma, as leaders of the Apache, Delaware, Choctaw, and Wichita tribes looked on, Anadarko’s proclamation was signed making Columbus Day, Indigenous People Day.

Before it was politically acceptable, South Dakota established Native American’s Day 500 years after Columbus “found” America. Two years later, in 1992, Berkeley, California made their own Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Mayor Kyle Eastwood, mayor of Anadarko, explained the decision, according to Newsiosity.

“Here we are in 2015, rectifying a past wrong. I think it may be a little past due, but it’s done. And we’re leading the state in this regard.”

Bartolome de Las Casas wrote a first-person account of some of the past wrongs committed in the first years after Christopher Columbus arrived. De Las Casas ended up being one of the earliest champions for justice for indigenous people of the Americas. One of de Las Casas’ letters describes the horrible acts of the earliest Spanish colonists towards the native people.

“They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house. They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, ‘Boil there, you offspring of the devil!'”

In Anadarko, city employees will get the day off this year to remember the Indigenous people, not Columbus. It’s a formal holiday. This year, it will feature an official signing of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation.

Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and South Dakota do not celebrate Columbus Day, and while some people are irritated that Americans would want to replace Columbus Day, social media posts indicate that support for Indigenous People Day is surging across the nation. Supporters say the nation should no longer celebrate the life of a man who committed such atrocities against the original people of the land. Some social media posts and news articles liken Columbus to the first terrorist in America, and say the whole nation should officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People Day.

[Photo via Pixabay]