Columbus, your ship may have sailed: Indigenous Peoples Day picks up steam

Casey Dawson
October 10, 2017

Basil Russo, president of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America, said: 'We had a very hard time in this country for well over a hundred years.

The second Monday of October is recognized as Indigenous Peoples Day in Mount Pleasant, however, in other cities throughout the USA, it is still celebrated as Columbus Day. Berkley, California, became one of the first cites in 1992 to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day. The city council in August voted to rename the holiday "Indigenous Peoples' Day".

However, not everyone in Utah is happy about it. "Leave the Italian-American heritage alone". A day in his honor celebrates "the beginning of cultural exchange between America and Europe", according to the Order of Sons of Italy in America. There is now a growing movement to reclaim the day in honor of indigenous people and their unique cultures and contributions. When native populations were all but extinct from disease, the trans-Atlantic African slave trade was ramped up to fill this slavery void.

But in recent years, the holiday has come under fire from people who see Columbus not as a fearless leader, but as a conquerer whose voyages led to the death and relocation of millions of indigenous Americans who were living in North America when he showed up.

Pols backing the city's Christopher Columbus statue took their fight to the Bronx Columbus Day Parade Sunday, where they kicked off a petition drive asking Mayor de Blasio to keep the controversial statue in place.

Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian who sailed for France, was actually the first European explorer to make it to the mainland.

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Trump said he expects the leaders to provide him with a "broad range of military options, when needed, at a much faster pace". The President was then pressed to explain his statement to which he replied, " You'll find out ".

President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a federal holiday in 1937 following a lobbying campaign by the Knights of Columbus.

"Not only should the Columbus statues come down, but also the statues of Thomas Jefferson...and George Washington", Barron said.

Minnesota, Alaska, and Vermont all celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.

Columbus Day is celebrated not only by the United States, but also Spain, which supported the Columbus expedition, Italy, Colombia (named for Christopher Columbus), several other South American nations, and some Caribbean islands.

Enjoy your Columbus Day and I hope everyone takes time to think about the complexities of history; when accomplishments are measured up against the imperfections of human beings.

Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe, said historical accuracy is important.

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