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If you're on this site, you probably already know that Columbus Day is a flawed and offensive holiday. You already know that Christopher Columbus never set foot on the North American continent, whereas other Europeans did so centuries before he was born. More importantly... Show more

If you still feel that a mass murderer, slaver, rapist, and simpleminded gold-seeker who never set foot on this continent should be one of only two people to have a U.S. holiday named after him, please explore more. If you're ready for your city or university to join the over 100 others that have already renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day, this page will point you in the right direction.

Steps to rename Columbus Day

Before embarking, do a quick web search to see if anyone in your city/university/etc has already tried to rename the holiday. If so, it will be helpful to determine what they did, and how far they got. But don't let any past/failed attempts deter you. When it comes to convincing fellow community members to do the right thing, it's just a matter of time before someone is successful.

The following are general steps to renaming Columbus Day anywhere. Please don't treat these as rigid directions – you'll need to make adjustments as you go. Show steps

You can do this

Changing the name of a holiday may seem a big task, but just take it one step at a time. If there are already community leaders thinking like you, this might turn out to be easier than expected. However, even if you're just one person – and even if nobody joins you in the effort – you can still do this. That's because you have something on your side that others don't – the truth. And truth is a very stubborn thing, because it doesn't go away. So just start taking steps in the right direction, and you will be helping everyone move in the right direction.

"You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
Martin Luther King Jr.

The first step

The first step is easy – you can do it right now. Just find the website of your local city council, or your university's decision makers, and send them an email. You can customize this text to your community, or write your own personal message.

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You already know that Christopher Columbus never set foot on the North American continent, whereas other Europeans sailed here centuries before he was born.

More importantly, you already understand that nobody should be called the "discoverer" of a place that already had millions of people living in it.

You're also aware that Columbus's so-called bravery was based mostly on his bad math and lust for gold, and that the reason Native Americans have been called "Indians" for centuries is because Columbus was so lost that he thought the Caribbean islands he "discovered" were near India.

You've also already discovered how Christopher Columbus initiated genocide, mass rape, torture, human burnings and dismemberings, and countless other horrific crimes against Caribbean people on a scale that would today be prosecuted as crimes against humanity.

You know that Columbus was the founder of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, that he allowed the prostituting of children, that he let infants be fed to dogs, and that his gruesome abuse of Indigenous people eventually led to their mass suicides.

And you know that all this was not just a matter of "the way things were" in 1492. You've uncovered the historical fact that Columbus was eventually arrested, sent back to Spain in chains (he worked for Spain, not Italy), put in prison for his crimes in the Caribbean, and never allowed to govern anywhere ever again.

You already understand that if Columbus had "discovered" the North American continent, Spain would have started colonizing here long before England, and there wouldn't even be a United States today.

You also know that Columbus was essentially an unknown name until a fiction writer in the 1830's fabricated heroic stories about him as a scheme to sell books, and a U.S. President in the 1930's enacted a holiday for him as a scheme to buy votes.

So you already understand that renaming Columbus Day is not re-writing history, but rather correcting a mistake that was made based on mis-written history. And you understand why numerous cities and universities have already completed the renaming — why even the city of Columbus, Ohio has done away with Columbus Day, and why even the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) and Columbia University have adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day instead. You understand why even many Italian Americans are increasingly supporting this name change.
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right."
Thomas Paine, American Founding Father
Yes, Columbus Day may have served a purpose in reducing discrimination against Italian immigrants during a period of American history. But discrimination against Italians is no longer a significant issue in America. And with the truth about Christopher Columbus now widely accessible, you see why it's no longer appropriate to be teaching children to honor such a man. You see why celebrating a symbol of intolerance and violence isn't going to benefit future Italian Americans, nor any Americans.
"Thinking people must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo."
Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Laureate for his "Reverence for Life"
Cognitive dissonance is the mental turmoil that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. For example, when children are taught to treat others kindly while also being told to admire a murderer/torturer/rapist/racist, some of those children will experience cognitive dissonance.
Bartolomé de las Casas was a Catholic priest who immigrated to Haiti during the time of Columbus. Much of what we now know about Columbus's reign of terror comes from his writings.



Leif Erikson is widely known to have sailed to North America 300+ years before Christopher Columbus was born. And Erikson actually walked on the North American continent, whereas Columbus never even saw it. The closest Columbus got was the Caribbean.

(That's lucky for us, otherwise many of us wouldn't be here)

It's often noted that Columbus was a skilled navigator. But knowing how to navigate a sailboat was not uncommon in the 1400's. And regardless of how good he was at navigating boats, that hardly justifies a genocidal  gold-seeker and slave-trader being one of only two people to have American holidays named after them.

Would we have a Hitler holiday?
"Columbus Day" versus "Hitler Day"
Yes, Christopher Columbus did some good, including: Like Columbus, Adolph Hitler did some good, including: The point is: All people have the potential of both good AND bad. Yes, even the worst among us is also capable of good. But which side we lean towards is ultimately a choice. And those who choose to commit crimes against humanity, like Hitler and Columbus, shouldn't get holidays named after them. That's why there isn't a Hitler Day, and there shouldn't be a Columbus Day.
Leif Erikson was a Viking. If the word "Viking" has negative connotations for you, please continue reading about the things Columbus did.
For no reason other than gold, Christopher Columbus also became a murder, torturer, rapist, pedophile, and initiator of the largest genocide our planet has ever seen. When he failed to find gold, he became the founder of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Columbus was lost
Some people believe we're celebrating Columbus for being a great navigator. But Columbus thought he was near India when he was actually in the Caribbean. Those two places are on opposite sides of the world. You literally cannot be any more off-course navigationally than being on the opposite side of the world from where you think you are.
Which one is Columbus
WATCH: "Happy Taino Genocide Day"

"The cruel policy initiated by Columbus... resulted in complete genocide."
– Pulitzer Prize-winning, Harvard Historian Samuel Eliot Morison

"Within 50 years of 1492, the Greater Antilles and Bahamas saw their population reduced from an estimated million people to about 500."
– Historian Matthew Dennis

"(In 1508) there were 60,000 people living on this island (Haiti)... So from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."
Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest

"They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords..."
– Bartolomé de las Casas
 
"As soon as the 1493 expedition got to the Caribbean, before it even reached Haiti, Columbus was rewarding his lieutenants with native women to rape. On Haiti, sex slaves were one more perquisite that the Spaniards enjoyed. Columbus wrote to a friend in 1500, "A hundred castellanoes [a Spanish coin] are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten [years old] are now in demand.""
– From "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James W. Loewen

"... I captured a very beautiful Carib [girl], whom [Columbus] gave to me, and with whom... I conceived desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but she did not want it... I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your ears... we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of [whores]."
– From "American Holocaust" by David E. Stannard
"Bobadilla [the governor who arrested Columbus and sent him back to Spain in chains] reported to Spain that Columbus regularly used torture and mutilation to govern Hispaniola. The 48-page report, found in 2006 in the national archive in the Spanish city of Simancas, contains testimonies from 23 people, including both enemies and supporters of Columbus, about the treatment of colonial subjects by Columbus and his brothers during his seven-year rule. According to the report, Columbus once punished a man found guilty of stealing corn by having his ears and nose cut off and then selling him into slavery... Testimony recorded in the report stated that Columbus congratulated his brother Bartolomeo on "defending the family" when the latter ordered a woman paraded naked through the streets and then had her tongue cut out for suggesting that Columbus was of lowly birth."
From writings of Bartolomé de las Casas:

"They made a grid of rods which they placed on forked sticks, then lashed the victims to the grid and lighted a smoldering fire underneath, so that little by little, as those captives screamed in despair and torment, their [life] would leave them."

"They made some low wide gallows on which the hanged victim's feet almost touched the ground, stringing up their victims in lots... then set burning wood at their feet and thus burned them alive."

Image of burnings

"They tortured him with the strappado, put burning tallow on his belly, pinned both his legs to poles with iron hoops and his neck with another and then, with two men holding his hands, proceeded to burn the soles of his feet. From time to time, the commander would look in and repeat that they would torture him to death slowly unless he produced more Gold."
From writings of Bartolomé de las Casas:

"I testify that I saw with my own eyes Spaniards cutting off the hands, noses, and ears of local people, both men and women, simply for the fun of it, and that this happened time and again in various places through the region. On several occasions I also saw them set dogs on the people, many being torn to pieces in this fashion, and they also burned down houses and even whole settlements, too numerous to count."

"With still others, all those they wanted to capture alive, they cut off their hands and hung them round the victim's neck, saying, "Go now, carry the message," meaning: Take the news to the Indians who have fled to the mountains."

"Yet another member of [Columbus'] party galloped about cutting the legs off all the children as they lay sprawling on the ground."

Image of dismemberings

From "A People's History of the United States":

"[Columbus' men] thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices of them to test the sharpness of their blades... two of these so-called Christians met two Indian boys one day, each carrying a parrot; they took the parrots and for fun beheaded the boys."
 
From writings of Bartolomé de las Casas:

"Indeed they invented so many new methods of murder that it would be quite impossible to set them all down on paper."

"They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords..."

"They took infants from their mothers' breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter..."

"After a day or two had gone by, several victims surfaced, soaked from head to foot in the blood of their fellows beneath whose bodies they had sheltered and, with tears in their eyes, pleaded for their lives, but the Spaniards showed them no mercy nor any compassion, and no sooner did they crawl out from under the pile of corpses than they were butchered. The Spanish commander gave orders that the leading citizens, who numbered over a hundred and were roped together, were to be tied to stakes set in the ground and burned alive."

"One of his officers was responsible for the indiscriminate slaughter of many locals, hanging some, burning others alive, and throwing yet others to wild dogs, sometimes sawing off their hands and feet, sometimes pulling out their tongues or hacking off their heads. Even though the locals never raised a finger against the Spaniards, the distinguished commander knowingly allowed this spate of atrocities to continue unchecked, directed as it was to terrorizing the local people into doing his bidding and into bringing him gifts of Gold or other precious objects."

"(In 1508) there were 60,000 people living on this island (Haiti)... So from 1494 to 1508, over three million people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."

From modern historians:

"Within 50 years of 1492, the Greater Antilles and Bahamas saw their population reduced from an estimated million people to about 500."
– Historian Matthew Dennis

"The cruel policy initiated by Columbus... resulted in complete genocide."
– Pulitzer Prize-winning, Harvard Historian Samuel Eliot Morison
 
From "A People's History of the United States"

• "In the year 1495, [Columbus's men] went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards(+) and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale..."

• "In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where [Columbus] and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death."
Although Christopher Columbus was Italian, he worked for Spain.
From "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen:

"As soon as the 1493 expedition got to the Caribbean, before it even reached Haiti, Columbus was rewarding his lieutenants with native women to rape. On Haiti, sex slaves were one more perquisite that the Spaniards enjoyed. Columbus wrote to a friend in 1500, "A hundred castellanoes [a Spanish coin] are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten [years old] are now in demand.""
From writings of Bartolomé de las Casas:

"A Spaniard who was out hunting deer or rabbits realized that his dogs were hungry and not finding anything they could hunt, took a little boy from his mother, cut his arms and legs into chunks with his knife and distributed them among his dogs."

"One woman, who was indisposed at the time and so not able to make good her escape, determined that the dogs should not tear her to pieces as they has done her neighbors and, taking a rope, and trying her one-year-old child to her leg, hanged herself from a beam. Yet she was not in time to prevent the dogs from ripping the infant to pieces."

Image of babies and dogs
Columbus's primary interest was gold, and he discovered that Caribbean "Indians" were as good as gold because they could be enslaved to collect gold, or they could be sold for gold.

From "A People's History of the United States":
"In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where [Columbus] and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death."

From a letter written by Columbus:
"It is possible... to sell all the slaves which it is possible to sell... Here there are so many of these slaves... that although they are living things they are as good as gold..."
From "Columbus: The Four Voyages"
"The Indians... plunged off cliffs, they poisoned themselves with roots, and they starved themselves to death. Oppressed by the impossible requirement to deliver tributes of gold, the Indians were no longer able to tend their fields, or care for their sick, children, and elderly. They had given up and committed mass suicide to avoid being killed or captured..." Show more

From "A People's History of the United States"
"Among the Arawaks (Haiti natives), mass suicides began... Infants were killed to "save" them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the two hundred fifty thousand Indians on Haiti were dead... the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates... were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island."
Arawak people (may also refer to Taíno people) were the people indigenous/native to Caribbean islands such as Haiti. While reading about the things that Columbus did to these populations, keep in mind that he himself found their character extremely pleasant and even called them "the best people in the world".
There are first hand written accounts from horrified witnesses who were shocked by Columbus's brutal behavior. According to these accounts, his actions were by no means the way "things worked" back then. Catholic priest Bartolomé de las Casas wrote "Who in future generations will believe this? I myself writing it as a knowledgeable eyewitness can hardly believe it."

Standards of human decency have never included mass murder, rape, torture, infanticide, dismembering or burning peaceful people alive. There's a good reason why Columbus was eventually arrested, sent back to Europe in chains, and put in prison for what he'd been doing in the Caribbean. And even though he eventually engineered a "pardon" for his crimes, he was forbidden from governing anywhere ever again.
If Columbus had "discovered" the North American continent in 1492, the ethnic composition here today would probably look more like Mexico (where Spaniards quickly "mixed" with natives) or Haiti (where native populations were quickly decimated by Spaniards and then completely replaced with African slaves).

Even without the head start that a 1492 Columbus landing would have given Spain, the United States still eventually had to fight the Spanish-American War (to remove Spain's influence from the Caribbean) AND the Mexican-American War (to remove Spanish influence from California/Texas).
Look at this map of what was happening even without the head start that a Columbus "discovery" would have provided Spain.

In other words, if Christopher Columbus had "discovered" the North American continent in 1492, there wouldn't be a "United States" today. And many (likely most) Americans of Northern European descent wouldn't even be here. So the "we wouldn't be here if it weren't for Columbus" argument for observing Columbus Day really doesn't make any sense.
An actual example of re-writing history can be seen in the way American education has long manipulated our view of the genocide that took place against the people who once lived where we now live.

In order for knowledge of history to serve us well, it must be true history. This is especially true for a country with its roots in genocide and foundation built on slavery. We must understand the need for reconcilation to find redemption.

Doing so is strength. Not doing so is unwise.

*The Indigenous people of this continent took good care of it for thousands of years before Europeans began fleeing the problems of their continent. Learning more of their nearly-erased knowledge may also be wise.
The group "Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples Day" (website at ItaliansForIPD.org) is just one example, in one state, of an increasing sentiment among the Italian American community.

From their Statements:
"Some Italian Americans assert that Columbus Day is at its core a celebration of our heritage... We believe that any association with Christopher Columbus diminishes our culture and does not honor the struggles of our ancestors, who were victimized for their ethnicity... [A] holiday that celebrates the resilience of Indigenous peoples is far more truthful and uplifting than one that honors a man whose legacy is characterized by conquest, slavery, and genocide. By championing Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the diverse histories and cultures of this land's First Peoples and their many contributions... We also honor our own ancestors who persevered in this country while enduring discrimination and violence, and we follow the example of the many Italian Americans who fought and continue to fight for civil and human rights for all."

Watch this short video

So when an Italian American speaks against Indigenous Peoples Day, or in favor of clinging to Christopher Columbus's myth, please remember that they are not speaking for all Italian Americans. Yes, Columbus Day did serve a valuable purpose for past generations of Italian Americans. But with what's now known about that day, it's not going to do anything for future generations. The day of Columbus's landing is now known to have always belonged to Native Americans. And giving it back to them can be an honor.

Columbus was lost
Europeans were not immigrating to America in the 1800's because life in Europe was wonderful. They were fleeing crop failures, job shortages, rising taxes, famine, political and religious persecution, etc.
Columbus's primary interest was gold. These are his words:
"Gold is most excellent, gold is treasure, and he who possesses it does all he wishes to in this world..."

Columbus discovered that Caribbean "Indians" were as good as gold because they could be sold as slaves for gold. He wrote:
"It is possible... to sell all the slaves which it is possible to sell... Here there are so many of these slaves... that although they are living things they are as good as gold..."

He also discovered the "Indians" could be enslaved the collect gold. From "A People's History of the United States":
"... On Haiti, where [Columbus] and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death."
The reason Columbus attempted a reverse route to India is because his navigational calculations told him that Earth was much smaller than it actually is, and that it was shaped like a pear. But his calculations were very wrong. Lucky for him and his crew, they stumbled on islands full of human gold in the Caribbean. But dumb luck while searching for gold is not the same as bravery.

Until his death, Columbus insisted that Haiti and nearby islands were near India. That's why he called the region "the Indies" and its inhabitants "Indians."

Columbus was looking for India
This is a template that supporters might send to your City Council members. Ask them to customize/personalize it.

Dear Councilmember [Last Name],

My name is [Your Name], and I'm a resident of [Your City].

I'm writing to express my strong support for repealing Columbus Day in [City Name], and adopting Indigenous Peoples' Day on the second Monday of October.

Indigenous people lived in what is now [City Name] since time immemorial, yet are still not adequately recognized as its first peoples. Christopher Columbus, on the other hand, is a major symbol of the beginning of Indigenous exploitation, slavery, rape, torture and cultural genocide in the Americas. He should no longer be celebrated and codified by our city.

Adopting Indigenous Peoples' Day in [City Name] is a step toward healing and reconciliation that is so critically needed in today's larger movement for racial equity and healing in this country. This is a civil rights issue that is long overdue to be corrected.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Sincerely,
[Your name]


*Text credit: dignidad.org
 
The resources at the bottom of this page, along with the timeline material and template website, are intended to help you inform community leaders and members about the truth behind Columbus Day. Yes, you will notice that some people are averse to discovering that their childhood beliefs are bogus. But as philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it's ridiculed. Second, it's vehemently opposed. Third, it's accepted as being self-evident."

So yes, you may feel ridiculed/opposed initially. But look at it this way: The same has been experienced by people throughout history who've stood for transformative ideas, progress, and making the world a better place. That's now you. Thanks to you, future generations won't have to live with the cognitive dissonance of honoring Columbus.
It's ironic that the KKK opposed the enactment of Columbus Day (Italians were at one time considered a non-white race), and that the United States wouldn't even exist if Columbus had "discovered" this continent for Spain, yet some people still see renaming Columbus Day as a threat to their racial/cultural/national identity. However, fighting racism with racist reasoning doesn't make much sense.

One strategy you might use when encountering identity insecurities is this: Ignore it and keep going. Don't get bogged down bickering with those still struggling with conditioned beliefs about who they and we all are. The best thing you can do for them, for you, and for generations to come, is to just keep taking steps in alignment with your own heart.
Some people will presume to speak for all Italian Americans by saying that renaming Columbus Day is an insult to Italian Americans. However, it's increasingly the case that many Italian Americans (especially younger generations) don't want to be represented by Columbus any more than they want to be represented by Mussolini.

You might remind peole that no other ethnic group in America has an observed holiday. Yes, there's St. Patricks Day for the Irish, Oktoberfest for Germans, Cinco de Mayo for Hispanics, and the Chinese New Year. But none of those holidays are observed holidays.

As for unobserved holidays, St. Valentine was from Italy, and Valentine's Day is one of the most celebrated unobserved holidays we have in America. Coincidentally, the day after Valentine's Day is Galileo Galilei's birthday (he's the Italian father of modern science who risked a prison sentence to give the world scientific truth – a true hero). How about establishing an Italian Heritage week? Aren't love and knowledge more appropriate symbols of Italian heritage than greed and genocide?

Also, remind people that our entire continent and country are already named after an Italian: Amerigo Vespucci. And Italian history is full of other true greats like Leonardo da Vinci, etc. There's absolutely no need fabricate fake stories for the sake of Italian pride, there are plenty of real ones.

Other suggestions for when confronted by people who think they're defending Italian pride:
1) Ask them to look closely at what Columbus did to other ethnic groups on this continent.
2) Explain to them that anyone is free to continue honoring Christopher Columbus, just as they're free to honor Adolph Hitler, but such honoring should not be on all our calendars.
3) Point out that the longer this change is resisted, and the more we all learn about Columbus, the more shameful Columbus Day becomes.
4) Encourage them to think of the many Italian Americans who don't want to be represented by Columbus, and of the even greater number who won't want to be in the future.
5) Remind them that our ancestors would not have chosen to celebrate Christopher Columbus if they had known the truth about him, and that we will not be able to offer the same excuse to our children that our parents did to us: that we didn't know.

*Correction: There is one other ethnic group that might be said to have an observed holiday, which is African Americans who are honored with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. However, most of us would agree that African Americans experienced a uniquely difficult "immigration" experience in America. And unlike Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther King Jr serves as an excellent role model for all Americans. Also unlike Columbus, MLK Jr. actually set foot on this continent.

**There's only one other ethnic group whose mass mistreatment on this continent approximates the mistreatment of African Americans, and that's Native Americans. The difference is that they were more likely to be slaughtered as externalities than bred as commodities – so there are fewer left to tell their tale.
 
This objection completely contradicts the concept of "acting locally", which over a hundred proactive cities and states have already done. The truth is that all major changes typically start at local levels. Abolition of slavery, women's right to vote, the right to interracial marriage, gay marriage, and just about all other legal reversals based on morality were initiated at city/state levels.

As stated on ConstitutionCenter.org, the website of The National Constitution Center: "Congress enacted federal holidays to catch up to states" and "Among the reasons cited for the Columbus Day federal holiday was that it was being observed in 40 states at the time." But based on updated information, less than half of U.S. states are now observing Columbus Day.

While it would be great if Congress also implements this rename at some point, your city/county/school/university/company doesn't have to wait for the federal government. Your city/university/etc can make its own decision based on updated information, as many others have already done. If any politician tells you that renaming Columbus Day is a federal issue, either they don't understand the politics of this issue, or they don't want you to understand.
"The penalty for not participating in politics is that you end up being ruled by your inferiors."
Plato

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead
Some people will suggest that your city/etc keep Columbus Day, and just create a separate "Indigenous Peoples Day" on another day. Don't do it. Having both Columbus Day and IPD is like having holidays for both Adolph Hitler and Holocaust Remembrance. The priority here is to rename Columbus Day – to stop celebrating genocide – so don't settle for anything less.

Other people might suggest renaming Columbus Day to "Italian Heritage Day" and enacting Indigenous Peoples Day on that same day. This is even more ridiculous. This would be like celebrating German Heritage on the day that Hitler started exterminating Jews. Don't fall for these attempted manipulations disguised as compromise.

If someone wants to create an Italian Heritage Day, Galileo Day, or Leonardo da Vinci Day on another day, that's great. But it must not be on the day that marks the beginning of Indigenous genocide. Any celebration for anyone other than Indigenous People on the day associated with Columbus's landing makes no sense.

Note that we do already have Valentine's Day on February 14th, and St. Valentine was Italian. Coincidentally, Galileo's birthday is February 15th, and he's a true hero (he risked a prison sentence to bring the world scientific truth). How about an Italian Heritage Week? Also, let's not forget that our entire continent and country are named after an Italian: Amerigo Vespucci (the cartographer who understood that this continent is not India). What, Galileo, Da Vinci, Saint Valentine and Vespucci weren't Americans? Neither was Columbus.
Some people will suggest renaming Columbus Day to "Native American day" which initially sounds good because we're accustomed to that term.

However, don't do it:

• "Indigenous Peoples' Day" aligns with a 1977 proposal by a delegation of Indigenous Nations to the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, and with Resolution #11-57 of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, representing 59 Tribes, to "Support to Change Columbus Day (2nd Monday of October) to Indigenous Peoples' Day."

• "Indigenous Peoples' Day" also aligns with what 100+ other cities/states/universities have already done. Remaining consistent will make for a more efficient transition when this rename goes to the federal level.

• Indigenous people lived on this continent long before it was called "America" by Europeans, so there's inherent conflict in the term "Native American."

• The word "native" is often used to mean simply "born in a place" (e.g. everyone born in Colorado can say they're a Colorado native). There's no such confusion with the word indigenous.
When dealing with local/city politicians, don't be surprised if your initial communications aren't met with a lot of enthusiasm. Renaming holidays isn't something they're likely to have experience with, and elected officials in smaller cities are more likely to have concerns about how their constituents/friends might view such a proposal. But once you explain the facts, show them why many cities have already implemented his important change, and perhaps direct them to the documents that other cities have used to implement the change – in other words: once they see that this is the right thing to do, that it's easy to do, and that it costs nothing to do – apathy will turn to action. Avoid being pushy (it always takes some time for beliefs/feelings to change), but do be persistent. With truth on your side, slow and steady will eventually win.
A "resolution" (or ordinance/code) typically indicates permanent policy change, whereas a "proclamation" is a ceremonial document issued yearly. Therefore, getting a Resolution passed in your city/university/etc is the priority (whether proclamations are issued yearly or not).

A few other things to keep in mind:

1. Because the actual date of the holiday changes yearly, your city's Resolution should include language specifying that "Indigenous Peoples' Day shall be the second Monday in October of every year" or "[Our city] shall recognize every second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day" or similar. The Resolution should not specify an exact date in October.

2. Any Resolution should also specify that such recognition is "instead of" or "as a replacement for" any official recognition of Columbus Day by your city. Without that or similar language, the question may later arise as to whether Columbus Day remains on city calendars/communications. Given what Christopher Columbus is now known to represent, the removal of Columbus Day is just as important as the adoption of Indigenous Peoples' Day. Listen to: Reno | Austin

3. It's up to your city as to whether or not your Resolution makes other mentions of Christopher Columbus and/or Columbus Day. Some cities choose to sanitize their document of "negativity" for the sake of not offending any members of the current generation that still associate the day with Italian heritage. Other cities put more weight on the importance of explaining the reason for this change, especially for the sake of future generations. Listen to: Dallas 1 | Dallas 2
Geneva, Switzerland, September, 1977. Indigenous American delegates entering the United Nations-sponsored Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas. The conference's Final Resolution called for the day of the so-called "discovery" of America to be observed as an International Day of Solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas.
UN delegation of Indigenous Americans
Image source: TheConversation.com via Wikimedia Commons
By simply bringing this issue to the attention of your City Council and community, you're already helping to raise awareness. Your words may not seem to have much impact at first, or there may be initial resistance to your ideas that contradict existing beliefs. But as Founding Father Thomas Paine once wrote, "The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark." You're planting seeds of awareness in people's minds, and that is already success – because some will definitely grow. So don't worry about appearances of initial non-action.

This Columbus Day issue actually presents an excellent opportunity to educate local communities about our country's real history, including every local community's own Indigenous history (wherever you are in this country, Indigenous People have been there). So there's no need for frustration or discouragement, as any seeming failure is just one more opportunity to raise more awareness of something that our society truly needs more awareness of – our real history.
This is a template you might use for initial email contact with your City Council members. Adapt/modify to make it personal.

Dear Councilman/Councilwoman [insert last name],

My name is [insert your name], and I'm a resident of [your city].

The purpose of this email is to ask that you and City Council pass a Resolution to rename the holiday currently known as "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous Peoples' Day" on all city calendars. In so doing, we'd be joining such cities as Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and over a hundred others that have conscientiously decided that such renaming is the right thing to do.

This issue is especially relevant to [our city], as we have a very long Native American history here. This area was [local tribe] territory for over [#] years.

Despite what most of us were taught as children (about Columbus "discovering" a continent that already had millions of people on it), what he actually "discovered" where Caribbean Islands. According to his navigational calculations, he believed he was near India, which is why we still refer to Native Americans as "Indians." Upon his so-called discovery of those inhabited islands, Columbus immediately initiated what would today be prosecuted as crimes against humanity, including mass enslavement and genocide. I've provided some references below.

While Columbus never landed on the North American continent (as Leif Erikson actually did centuries before him), he does still symbolize the beginning of what would most accurately be described as the "American Holocaust." And to continue celebrating the man who initiated mass extermination Native Americans is shameful.

To be clear, renaming "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous Peoples' Day" is not rewriting history. It's correcting a mistake that was made based on mis-written history. Yes, it can be difficult to acknowledge that something we were taught as children (and something we've accepted as our culture) is mostly a lie. But this is a lie whose time has come to be rectified. It's not appropriate that we be teaching our children to honor what Christopher Columbus represents.

Even the city of Columbus, Ohio has done away with Columbus Day, as has Washington D.C. (District of Columbia). Most cities are renaming to "Indigenous Peoples' Day" through a vote of their City Councils, and I hope that we can do the same here in [your city].

I'm planning to attend the next council meeting to present this request during the public comment period as well. If there's some other process I should follow, please let me know.

Thank you,
[your name]
 
This is a template you might use for an initial presentation to your City Council. Adapt/modify to make it personal. Be sure to check the time allowance for public comments at your local City Council meetings, and practice to make sure you're within that limit.

Good morning Mayor and Councilmembers,

My name is [your name], I'm a resident of [your city], and I'm here today to ask that the City Council vote to rename the holiday currently known as Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day on all city calendars. In so doing, we'd be joining such cities as Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and over a hundred others that have conscientiously decided that such renaming is the right thing to do.

This would be especially appropriate for [our city], as there's a very long Native American history here. This region was [tribe] territory for over [#] years... [add a bit of history if available]

As for Columbus Day, this renaming should not be considered an affront to Italian Americans. Columbus Day began in the 1930's as a result of special interest lobbying, and as a way to reduce discrimination against Italian immigrants. It did serve a purpose. However, discrimination against Italian Americans is no longer a significant issue, and many other ethnic groups have experienced periods of discrimination during immigration without being assigned observed holidays.

But most importantly, we now know that Christopher Columbus was not a person to be proud of. Despite what many of us were taught as children, about the hero Columbus discovering a continent that already had millions of people on it, it's now well known that other Europeans had sailed here centuries before Columbus was born, and that actually, Columbus never set foot on, or even saw, this continent. Rather, it was inhabited Caribbean islands that he quote "discovered," whereupon he initiated what today would be considered crimes against humanity. This included mass enslavement, mass rape, sex trafficking of children, and genocide. He also became the founder of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

I won't go into details about the atrocities committed by Columbus and his men, since there's abundant and undisputed documentation online. But although Columbus never landed on this continent, he does symbolize the beginning of what would most accurately be described as the American Holocaust.

So renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day is not a re-writing of history. It's a correction of mis-written and suppressed history. I agree that it can be difficult to acknowledge that something we were taught as children, and something we've come to accept as part of our culture, is mostly a lie. But this is a lie whose time has come to be rectified. We should not be disrespecting the original inhabitants of these lands by celebrating their genocide. And we should not be teaching children to honor a man who was willing to completely disregard the well-being of others in his search for personal wealth. Kids today need a new type of role model, and new definitions of success, if they're to create a better world for their kids.

Renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day is a small step in the right direction. But it's a step that our community of [your city] could be truly proud of.

I'll conclude by pointing out that, while this may appear to be a federal issue, it's really not. Columbus Day began at city and state levels, and that's where it must be undone. Colorado was the first state to celebrate Columbus Day, and Denver in 2016 adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day. In 2019, even the city of Washington DC, the District of Columbia, celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day instead. Over 100 cities have done the same, they did so through a vote of their City Councils, and I sincerely hope that you can help us do the same here in [your city].

Thank you for listening.
 
This is a template you might use for an initial presentation to your City Council. Adapt/modify as you wish. Be sure to check the time allowance for public comments at your local City Council meetings, and practice to make sure you're within that limit.

Good morning City Councilmembers and guests,

My name is [your name], I live in [your city], and I'm here to ask that you place on your agenda and vote for observing Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of Columbus Day.

I'd like to quickly share just 4 reasons for making this important name change.

First, Columbus didn't discover America. Millions of people already lived here when he left Europe. Moreover, he never even set foot on this continent. In fact, he never even saw it. And even if were were to continue disregarding the human inhabitants who were here before us, other Europeans – vikings – are now well-known to have landed in North America hundreds of years before Columbus was born.

Second, wherever Columbus did set foot, he spread disease, mass rape, slavery, and genocide. His primary motivation was gold, and he unleashed unrestrained violence wherever he went searching for it. Columbus was quite simply a genocidal egomaniac. And honoring him is similar to honoring Hitler or Stalin. And we must not make the mistake of thinking that his behavior was normal in 1492. here's a good reason why Columbus was eventually arrested, transported back to Europe in chains, and put in prison for what he did in the Caribbean.

Third, the area where we live was inhabited by the [tribe] people for more than [#] years. And they were good stewards of the land for those [x]. This makes it completely fitting that we recognize their important contribution to our city's history. And its diversity. Celebrating a day that symbolizes indigenous genocide is completely incongruent with our community's values.

And fourth, perhaps most important, citizens look to their elected leaders not just for civic leadership, but also for moral leadership. This is not an issue of Democrat versus Republican, or Italian versus Native American. It's an issue of not continuing to honor antiquated and inappropriate behavior that we condemn when we see it today.

More than 100 U.S. cities and states have already done the right thing. Please take a stand on this very important issue, and set an example for the people of [your city], by renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day here as well.

Thank you
 
"The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it."
– Chief Joseph
After being forcefully removed from their lands in Oregon, Chief Joseph attempted to lead 700+ of his tribe's men, women, and children to asylum while being pursued by the US Army for over 1000 miles. By the time they were cornered in Montana, 150+ of the "fugitives" had already died, and many more died from diseases while being held at a Kansas prisoner-of-war camp.
"From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more, forever."
– Chief Joseph
In addition to such policies of removal and land dispossession, other strategies of ethnic cleansing used against Native Americans have included starvation, brutal death marches, and massacres. Even Hitler was inspired by America's example.
Eradication of Native cultures was also pursued through boarding schools and religious suppression, forced economic proselytization, and other cultural assimilation. Watch this short documentary.
"I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more."
– Chief Joseph
So the genocide of Native cultures certainly didn't end with Columbus. However, Columbus is the major symbol of that genocide's beginning. Renaming Columbus Day will not change any history – history can't be changed. Rather, renaming is an idea that has arisen from acknowledging real history. Such acknowledging can be uncomfortable, but as the saying goes: we must know our real history if we're to avoid the mistakes of our past. And we must stop ignorantly celebrating fake history as a way to avoid reality. We're all on a single family tree of life on this planet, and it's time for all to see that those who disregard the wellbeing of others in their search for personal wealth or power are eventually going to be remembered like Columbus: as lost a-holes.
"It does not require many words to speak the truth."
– Chief Joseph
For the same reason that we don't have a Hitler Day, it's time to rename Columbus Day. It has always been Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Given what we now know, saying that "Indigenous People deserve to have their own day" on a "non-Columbus Day" is manipulative. Given what we now know, Columbus's landing in the Bahamas in 1492 has very, very little to do with Italian American history. Rather, that day in 1492 has everything to do with Native American history. It was an event that has rippled through Native American lives in devastating ways for centuries.

In short, the second Monday in October has always been Indigenous Peoples' Day. Those who have suffered genocide, mass exploitation, mass rape, and oppression for centuries as a result of Columbus's landing are the only ones for whom the day has real meaning.

We all understand that Italian Americans suffered discrimination during a period of American history, and that celebrating Columbus and Columbus Day provided benefit in reducing that discrimination and suffering, which is great. But any additional benefit, along with Columbus's myth, is now gone. And it's time to give the day back. Doing so can be an honor.
In his book "Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography" (ISBN 9780385420532) Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer John Toland explains that Hitler was inspired by America's Indian reservation system and "often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America's extermination – by starvation and uneven combat – of the red savages..."

Mass grave for slaughtered Native Americans (including 200 women/children):
Mass grave for Native Americans

More:
NewYorker.com
St. John's Law Review

*Although there continue to be deniers of both the Jewish and Native American genocides, the evidence that both took place is overwhelming.
Slaughtering buffalo was just one method used to starve Native Americans into submission. In 1800, around 30-50 million buffalo roamed the plains. By 1900, there were less than 1000. More info
Bison killed to starve Native Americans into submission
Unlike standard prisoner transport, a death march is a forced march in which people are exposed to abuse and neglect, and those unable to continue are left to die or executed.

Native American Death Marches:

1. Trail of Tears
"I fought through the civil war and have seen men shot to pieces and slaughtered by thousands, but the Cherokee removal was the cruelest work I ever knew."
Volunteer soldier from Georgia (ISBN 0202308170 pg 124)
2. Long Walk of the Navajo
"...the daughter got tired and weak and couldn't keep up... The soldier told the parents that they had to leave their daughters behind.... Not long after they had moved on, they heard a gunshot from where they had been a short time ago."
Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period (ISBN 978-0-912586-16-8)
3. More
Native American Massacres:

1. Sand Creek Massacre
"I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces ... With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors... By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops."
Congressional Testimony of Mr. John S. Smith, 1865
2. Wounded Knee Massacre
"I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch." – Black Elk, Lakota medicine man
"Little boys ... came out of their places of refuge, and as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrounded them and butchered them there." – American Horse, Lakota chief
3. California massacres
"The women and children remained, trusting that an American would not murder women and children... they were mistaken. The Americans searched around among the haystacks with a hatchet, and split the children's heads open. In this way, there were over 40 women and children butchered... The towns of Marysville and Honey Lake paid bounties for Indian scalps. Shasta City offered 5 dollars for every Indian head brought to City Hall. And California's State Treasury reimbursed many of the local governments for their expenses... [California] was the worst slaughter of Indian Peoples in United States history."
4. Bear River massacre, Marias massacre, and many more. And with bounties being paid for Indian heads/scalps, it's likely that countless "legal" mini-massacres were never even recorded.
Indigenous people of the United States lost approximately 99% of the land that they had lived on for thousands of years(source). Land dispossession and forced removal/migration resulted in breakup of tribes and dissolving of Indigenous cultures that had been close to the land for millennia.
Indian Land for Sale
Albert Einstein:
(German-American Physicist)
"A human being is a part of the whole... He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, [but it's like an] optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires, and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.."

Native Medicine Man Translation
Black Elk:
(Lakota Medicine Man)
"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers. And when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Great Spirit, and that this Center is really everywhere. It is within each of us. This is the real peace... you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is known that true peace..."

Western Physicist Translation
John Fire Lame Deer:
(Lakota Holy Man)
"Only human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist. They don't use their brains and have forgotten the secret knowledge of their bodies, their senses, or their dreams. They don't use the knowledge the spirit has put into every one of them; they are not even aware of this, and so they stumble along blindly on the road to nowhere – a paved highway which they themselves bulldoze and make smooth so they can get faster to the big, empty hole which they'll find at the end, waiting to swallow them up. It's a quick, comfortable superhighway, but I know where it leads to. I have seen it. I've been there in my vision, and it makes me shudder to think about it."

The Hopi Prophesy

re: "one family"
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[Austin]  Mayor: this resolution is in the spirit of inclusion. Indigenous were first conservators of our land. [Austin]  Why voting to replace Columbus Day [Austin]  Why replacing Columbus Day [Austin]  Columbus Day will be replaced on calendar. [Austin]  Why bother with cities [Baltimore]  Mayor's introduction [Baltimore]  Italian American: no single Italian speaks for all Italians. [Baltimore]  Native American: there have been traumatic events. [Baltimore]  Lumbee Tribe member: Columbus is not worthy of a day acknowledged by the city. [Baltimore]  Mayor: Columbus is conflated with Italian heritage. [Baltimore]  Italian American Councilor on the Knights of Columbus. [Baltimore]  Columbus Day was about attaining white status. [Baltimore]  Cherokee: It hurts us to hear about Columbus. If it's really not about him, there shouldn't be any problem with another day. [Baltimore]  Baltimore Italian for Indigenous Peoples' Day [Baltimore]  Why not have an Italian Heritage Day on Columbus Day. [Baltimore]  Jewish American: our/Italian experience in America pales in comparison to Native Americans. [Baltimore]  Italian American: there's a difference between Italian experience and genocide/slavery. [Boston]  Mayor reads land acknowledgment and proclamation. [Boston]  Mayor: we can respect Italian Americans [Cambridge]  Vice Mayor: I do not want Columbus representing my culture. [Cambridge]  Councilor with Italian and Native heritage [Cambridge]  Mayor reads resolution [Cambridge]  Member of UAINE talks about erasure of Indigenous history. [Cambridge]  I am not here to denigrate Italian Americans. We are forced to beg for recognition. I was called savage. [Cambridge]  Letter from Mayan [Cambridge]  Reading of the resolved clause [Cambridge]  Irish American Councilor: Indigenous people supplied us with food when others wouldn't. [Cambridge]  Standing against Columbus Day is not against Italians. [Cambridge]  Half Italian: I don't want Columbus to be face of Italian heritage. I can't think of a worse possible person to be the face of Italian heritage. [Cambridge]  Reverend: we must own our past in order to have reconciliation. [Cambridge]  Lakota talks about what IPD is. Celebrating Columbus does harm. [Cambridge]  Climate change: Do we have something to learn from Indigenous cultures? [Cambridge]  Councilor: this is soul searching [Cambridge]  Italian American Councilor [Cincinnati]  It's strength to revisit our history [Cincinnati]  Calling it Columbus Day was wrong. [Cincinnati]  I don't think Columbus is a good representation. [Cincinnati]  My thought was to oppose this resolution. [Cincinnati]  History does not change, interpretation does. [Colorado Springs]  City changes proclamation to resolution. Mentions land acknowledgment. [Colorado Springs]  Indigenous archaeologist: Native people are not just in the past. [Colorado Springs]  President of City Council reads the resolution. [Colorado Springs]  We all (Indigenous and immigrants) share love for where we live. [Colorado Springs]  America is ancient. Indigenous showed how to care for this land. Glad we moved to resolution. [Colorado Springs]  Indigenous were stewards of this land. [Dallas]  Columbus Day is celebrating genocide. This is opportunity to promote tolerance and friendship. [Dallas]  This is now your history too. [Dallas]  In college I learned my real history [Dallas]  Native American Business Association [Dallas]  We had been almost wiped out. Our history is still here. It's important students know this. [Dallas]  Why doing resolution rather than proclamation [Dallas]  Former HS teacher: this lack of knowledge of what our history really looks like. [Dallas]  Councilor / former educator: there' s much more American history that needs to be told. [Dallas]  Someone wants to remove negative Columbus wording. I will not support. [Dallas]  Be an upstander [Dallas]  There is no progress without struggle. [Dallas]  Why Columbus must be mentioned on IPD resolution. [Dallas]  Hard conversations must be had [Dallas]  Wording of resolution is adjusted to "instead of Columbus Day" [Denver]  Benefits of Indigenous Peoples Day [Denver]  Our history books begin with settlers. That's not truth. [Denver]  Sponsoring Councilor introduces ordinance. [Eugene]  One of our responsibilities is to oppose racism. [Eugene]  I'm glad to see true heroes being recognized. [Eugene]  Young person: I was taught that Indians are dead. We're still here. [Eugene]  It's counter-intuitive to glorify a serial rapist and murderer, and passivity is dangerous. [Eugene]  Young person: in public schools, we're only spoken of in the past tense. [Eugene]  Young person: people would rather kill their children/families than be enslaved by Columbus. [Eugene]  Young person: I was call prairie n***er. [Eugene]  Schools are structured to produce ignorance about Indigenous people... with things like Columbus Day. [Eugene]  We must face the truth of what Columbus did... our history. [Eugene]  I now know that I grew up on native lands. [Eugene]  Palestinian advocate: human rights are for all people. [Eugene]  I grew up with this idea that we didn't exist until Columbus found us. [Eugene]  Human rights commission: it's important our values be reflected in our actions. [Flagstaff]  City Manager: Columbus did not discover anything. He unleashed genocide, slavery, etc. [Flagstaff]  It's a Holocaust. Compares two studies. [Flagstaff]  There are things this resolution does and doesn't do. [Flagstaff]  Why the declaration mentions Columbus Day. [Flagstaff]  Mayor: we must acknowledge what's here if we're to build anything that will last. [Houston]  Why it's the second Monday of October. [Houston]  We must lift up history of Indigenous and celebrate our roots. [Houston]  I never thought about this as Italian American Day. [Houston]  I'm voting to replace [Houston]  My husband is Italian American... [Houston]  FDR enacted Columbus Day to get votes. [Houston]  This is a step toward accuracy and inclusivity. [Kansas City]  Quick pass. No discussion. [Los Angeles]  UCLA Director of American Indian Studies [Los Angeles]  I didn't come from somewhere else. Italian contribution needs to be acknowledged. [Los Angeles]  Don't choose a different day [Los Angeles]  A true and accurate account is necessary. [Los Angeles]  We've been erased [Los Angeles]  Professor of History: Columbus's long, dark shadow reached us. [Los Angeles]  On Columbus Day my son came home from school and said: I'm not Indian. [Los Angeles]  Mental health therapist [Los Angeles]  Chair of American Indian Studies at UCLA [Los Angeles]  Councilmember: the historical record is unambiguous. [Los Angeles]  Italian American on divisiveness and unfairness. [Los Angeles]  Being Native American is one of the most culturally isolating experiences there is. [Madison]  Just a reading of resolution [Madison]  I'm glad city has recognized that we're still here/alive. [Madison]  Full Mayan: we struggle keeping native culture. Environmental insight. [Minneapolis]  Reading of resolution [Minneapolis]  I want my son and daughter to feel safe and respected. [Minneapolis]  Today is a good day. Usually we're outside. [Minneapolis]  This is a piece of a larger healing that must take place. [Minneapolis]  This is not federal, but as a city we can decide how we communicate. [Minneapolis]  Mayor reads letter from first Native American elected to City Council. [Phoenix]  This sends a message that we value Native American heritage and culture. [Phoenix]  This costs nothing, but it is priceless. [Phoenix]  Navajo: this helps overcome what was expected of us by the government. [Phoenix]  ASU Student talks about invisibility. [Phoenix]  These are real wounds. We have a long history of celebrating genocide in disguise. [Phoenix]  This brings us back to an appreciation of who our fellow citizens are... that enabled us to be who we are. [Phoenix]  Vice Mayor: our identity is inextricably linked to our Tribal communities. [Phoenix]  Councilor: look at our water systems, our architecture, you see Native American contributions. [Phoenix]  Councilor: this is 100% positive. This is American history. [Phoenix]  Councilman: I know how hard it is feeling less than. [Phoenix]  Mayor: We should do all we can to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. [Portland]  Mayor: history has power over us. Remembering is important. [Portland]  Care for the welfare of the whole people. Have always in view the coming generations. [Portland]  The government said we're not Indians anymore. [Portland]  This represents that there is a change in the hearts of people. [Portland]  Nez Perce: wherever you are, Indians have been. [Portland]  Our cultural foundation is often overshadowed by Columbus. [Portland]  I look forward to my children no longer celebrating a man who caused us pain. [Portland]  We would not be in this environmental fix. [Portland]  Director of Office of Equity and Human Rights [Portland]  Native American: we were taught to praise Columbus. [Portland]  I carried the hurt with me. Signs said no dogs or Indians. [Portland]  We need to fill the empty feeling. [Portland]  Councilman: we don't celebrate Ted Bundy, why celebrate Columbus. [Portland]  Councilwoman: we have a new history, of honoring Native Peoples. [Portland]  Councilman: this is one small way of making amends. Living lightly is sustainability. [Princeton]  Introduction to resolution.. we customized another city's [but they made a mistake] [Princeton]  The heart of this resolution is education... helping us understand genocide and cultural suppression. [Reno]  Why removing Columbus Day [San Francisco]  Councilor: I'd like to support follow-up legislation to honor Italian Americans. [San Francisco]  Councilor: correcting our history is overdue. [San Luis Obispo]  Reading of proclamation [San Luis Obispo]  Tribal Chair: understand the deep and ancient history of this region. [Seattle]  Council introduction: we've let down the First Peoples. [Seattle]  Italian American Councilmember: The more I learn of Columbus, the less enamored I am. [Seattle]  Indian (India) Councilmember: This is more than name change. It's a step to fight discrimination. [Seattle]  Columbus was not the hero we were taught to believe. [Seattle]  We stand fully behind this resolution. [Seattle]  University of Washington grad: we all need to validate our own histories. [Seattle]  Navajo: I share pain of whole story not being told. [Seattle]  Co-chair of Human Rights Commission [Seattle]  Día de la Raza. In Latin America, Columbus is not honored. Teach children correct history. [Tahoe]  Public comment: It's called progress. [Tahoe]  It's worth celebrating the people who got punished for our landing here. [Tahoe]  This is not against anyone, it's for everyone. [Tahoe]  Councilman: We're not changing history. [Tahoe]  Another Councilman: We're learning from history. [Spokane]  Introduction by woman who proposed the rename in Spokane. [Spokane]  Church minister: the most important thing to do for those treated unjustly is treat them justly. [Spokane]  Columbus's behavior was unacceptable then. [Spokane]  To this day, what happened 500 years ago is impacting my family. [Spokane]  Young person: I was taught Columbus was a savior. [Spokane]  For my entire life I had to deal with racism. Indigenous Peoples Day is picking up... [Spokane]  We'd root for John Wayne. What twists a child's mind? We're asking for truth. [Spokane]  Chair of Human Rights Commission: This is more than just a name change. It's taking a stand. [Spokane]  Nez Perce attorney: be on the right side of history. [Spokane]  Why choose a shameful figure as an icon? [Spokane]  Our grandparents compromised to the point we're living on a reservation. Please don't compromise. [Spokane]  Columbus enslaved by ancestors. Who'd want to celebrate that? We're still here. That's to celebrate. [Spokane]  Columbus represents violence. [Spokane]  Person of Jewish ancestry: Holocaust is what happened here. [Spokane]  The more I learn of Columbus, the more grateful I am for Indigenous Peoples Day. [Spokane]  All these people are your family. Treat everyone with respect. Columbus Day is hurt. [Spokane]  Italian American supporting Indigenous Day. Mentions technologies. [Spokane]  Columbus came to make money with violence. We should not celebrate that. [Spokane]  We are all human beings on this planet. Not separate. One voice. [Spokane]  The belief Columbus was a hero has a lot of darkness to it. We must shake it, move toward healing. [Spokane]  Truth and reconciliation is the basis of (healing) broken relationships. [Spokane]  Columbus's legacy still ripples across our lives in devastating ways. [Spokane]  We Mayans never believed the world was flat. Columbus committed genocide. Choose your own day. [Spokane]  Being lied to makes me angry. There is no more glaring distortion in history than Columbus. [Spokane]  Teachers take a queue from government leaders. [Spokane]  Son was reprimanded on Columbus Day: I don't want my children oppressed anymore. [Spokane]  Columbus is distorted history. Let truth come out. [Spokane]  Italians deserve so much more. [Spokane]  Young person: I knew I was treated differently as (an Indian) girl. [Spokane]  My mom would take the history books and correct the miswritings on our people. [Spokane]  We're behind. Seattle did this, and it was positive. [Spokane]  Councilwoman: we should honor Indigenous on 2nd Monday in October. [Spokane]  Councilwoman talks about her Indigenous grandparents. They didn't matter. I would tell friends of visits. [Spokane]  I don't have the solution. This is for people who struggled hundreds of years. [Spokane]  Councilwoman talks about renaming Canada Island. Canada was honored. [Spokane]  I'm confident my Italian grandfather would be proud. [Spokane]  Mayor: We're not erasing Columbus, we're just not honoring him. [Tacoma]  We do this so our children can understand who they are. [Tacoma]  We are recognizing the things Indigenous People have gone through. [Tacoma]  I was told to go back to res. [Tacoma]  Councilman: grandson of first generation Italian American [Tacoma]  Councilwoman: Recognition, Respect, Reconciliation [Tacoma]  Mayor thanks school for their petition. [Washington DC]  Councilmember's introduction to emergency resolution. It's an accident of history to honor Columbus. [Washington DC]  This should not be viewed as insulting to Italian Americans. [Washington DC]  Italian American Councilmember
Watch full Austin video:  Click on "Item 32" Watch full Baltimore video:  Entire hour is discussion about Indigenous Peoples Day. Watch full Boston video:  Proclamation only Watch full Cambridge video #1:  Minute 1:34 to 1:47 | Or click Item VII #17 | Policy Order and Resolution List #17. Also contains PDF comments under "Communications." Watch full Cambridge video #2:  Video from Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee, Contains testimony on Indigenous Peoples Day from multiple speakers. Watch full Cincinnati video:  Minute 5 to 18 Watch full Colorado Springs video:  Minute 20 to 41 Watch full Dallas video #1:  See Agenda Item 35. Watch full Dallas video #2:  See Agenda Item 35. Watch full Davis video:  Ceremony only. Minute 1 to 6. Watch full Denver video:  See all video links at bottom of page. 9/14 is 0m-27m. 10/3 starts at 49m:30s. Note that CO was the first state to adopt Columbus Day. Watch full Eugene video:  Public comment starts at minute 4, council discussion is 1:23 to end. Watch full Flagstaff video:  Click item 13C. Minute 0 to 35. Watch full Houston video:  Minute 3 to 39. Watch full Kansas City video:  Minute 8:30 to 12 Watch full Los Angeles video:  Pro-CD is at 1:11:22. Pro-IPD is at 1:31:28. Council discussion is at 1:48:50 Watch full Madison video:  Minute 1 to 10 Watch full Minneapolis video:  Minute 1 to 32 Watch full Phoenix video:  Minute 33 to 1:20 Watch full Portland video:  Minute 21 to 1:20 Watch full Princeton video:  Minute 47 to 55. Princeton doesn't mention Columbus Day, which is a mistake. Watch full Reno video:  Click item B 21 (or find "8726"). Notes the importance of removing Columbus Day. Watch full San Francisco video:  Board of Supervisors, Minute 14 to 19 Watch full San Luis Obispo video:  Minute 8 to 17. Just a proclamation. Watch full Seattle video:  Council discussion is at minute 2 to 15, and public comments are at minute 18 to 42 Watch full South Lake Tahoe video:  Minute 4:03:00 to 4:23 Watch full Spokane video:  Minute 15 to 2:48. Council discussion starts at 2:26 Watch full Washington DC video:  See 2:28:27 to 2:35:53
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