“Many of us learn the rhyme “In fourteen hundred ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue” in elementary school. But some U.S. towns and cities are opting to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day (sometimes called Native American Day) to acknowledge that Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America wasn’t technically a discovery, since many indigenous groups already lived here; and, in some cases, to acknowledge that Columbus’s actions were harmful to local populations. In 2015, several towns and counties throughout the country, including Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; Lawrence, Kansas; Olympia, Washington; Anadarko, Oklahoma; and Albuquerque, New Mexico made the switch.
This year, more cities and states have joined the movement to rename the day—which this year falls on October 10—Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Additions to the growing list include Phoenix, Arizona (which is now the biggest city observing the holiday); San Antonio, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; East Lansing, Michigan; Denver and Boulder in Colorado, and the entire state of Vermont. That said, not everyone is on board just yet: Cincinnati, Ohio, voted against an Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution. While in some places the name change is primarily symbolic, others celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with parades, or educational programming involving local Native communities.
The movement to replace Columbus Day isn’t brand new. In 2014, Seattle and Minneapolis voted in favor of formalizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, although Seattle’s campaign did face some opposition from members of the local Italian-American community, who said that kicking the Italian explorer to the curb was disrespectful of their heritage. And several U.S. states don’t recognize Columbus Day as a holiday, period: Hawaii opts to call the second Monday in October “Discoverers’ Day,” in honor of the Polynesian sailors who discovered Hawaii. The U.S. Virgin Islands acknowledge Columbus Day but on the same day also celebrate Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day. Although Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since the 1930s, more than half of U.S. states don’t mandate a paid day off for the holiday. As of 2015, only 23 states gave employees a paid day off for the day.”
Original Source: www.cntraveler.com