Minneapolis changes Columbus Day to 'Indigenous Peoples Day'

Native Americans say celebrating Columbus Day perpetuates a false narrative surrounding the explorer who landed in the New World more than five centuries ago.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   April 25, 2014 at 5:20 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) -- Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to join several other municipalities and states in protesting the celebration of Columbus Day.

Instead, the Minnesota city will celebrate Indigenous People's Day to "reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwa and other indigenous nations add to our city."

Opposition to celebrating Columbus Day, which falls officially on October 12 (but is celebrated in the U.S. on the second Monday of the month), comes from the cruel treatment of Native Americans at the hand of Christopher Columbus and the Europeans that followed him to the New World.

“We are sending a signal across the nation and to the global community that we make these changes in the spirit of truth-telling,” Council Member Alondra Cano said ahead of the Council meeting.

“Now that we have established Indigenous People's Day, every child -- whether that child is native or whether that child is not -- will learn the truth about where America really comes from," added U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison.

A coalition of native nations proposed the idea of Indigenous People's Day to the United Nations nearly 40 years ago, and variations of it have been picked up by South Dakota, Hawaii, and a number of cities, including San Francisco.

Minneapolis's decision won't completely eliminate Columbus Day in the city, as it remains on parking meters and in city ordinances and contracts.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Catholic Church in Norway ordered to pay $5.1 million for fraud
North Korean diplomats sending their children to mental hospitals
Report: North Korea executed over 1,300 people
Shark bite confirmed off North Carolina shore
Jerusalem family finds ancient ritual bath under home