LA Scraps Columbus Day, Will Honor Someone Else

Indigenous Peoples Day will now occur on 2nd Monday of October
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2017 4:33 AM CDT
The Christopher Columbus statue at Manhattan's Columbus Circle, center, is shown from a view inside the Time Warner Center, Sunday Aug. 27, 2017, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – The Los Angeles City Council has voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as an official holiday. Council members voted 14-1 on Wednesday to make the second Monday in October a day to commemorate indigenous, aboriginal, and native people. It will be a paid holiday for city employees. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation tribe, pushed for the switch. Some activists view Christopher Columbus as a symbol of genocide for native peoples, a position voiced by the vice chairwoman of the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission.

The Los Angeles Times quotes Chrissie Castro as urging the city to "dismantle a state-sponsored celebration of genocide of indigenous peoples. To make us celebrate on any other day would be a further injustice." Councilman Joe Buscaino was the lone "no" vote. He sided with Italian-Americans, who view Columbus Day as a celebration of their national heritage and had pushed to designate Aug. 9—the day on which the United Nations honors indigenous peoples—as a new holiday, but his proposal failed 11-4. Los Angeles joins San Francisco and several other cities nationwide in honoring native Americans in lieu of Columbus, reports the AP. (Read more Christopher Columbus stories.)

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