Several cities around the U.S. will celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day

Several cities around the U.S. will celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day

Several city councils across the country are voting to abolish Columbus Day — and celebrate the holiday as Indigenous People’s Day.

Officials in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday became the most recent to approve the new name for the holiday.

The day — which is traditionally celebrated on the second Monday in October — celebrates Christopher Columbus discovering the so-called New World.

However, historians and activists over the years have tried to dethrone Columbus’ reign as a famed explorer and instead hold him responsible for the mass genocide and enslavement of natives who had been in the Americas long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

“Learning about the history of Columbus and transforming this day into a celebration of indigenous people and a celebration of social justice…allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination, and poverty that indigenous communities face to this day,” Kshama Sawant, a Seattle City Council member told the Seattle Times in 2014.

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