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.)