Life

All The Cities Replacing Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples’ Day


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Frankly, f*ck Columbus Day. What was once a national holiday meant to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ colonization of the Americas — and his first encounter with Indigenous peoples on Oct. 11th, 1492 — has been wisely re-branded to celebrate the lives of the Indigenous people who are still with us, and to honor those were enslaved, displaced, and suffered a genocide the likes of which are unprecedented.

As residents of this nation, we all must reconcile with the violent past that is entombed within American history — lest we forget, only to repeat our violent indiscretions. It’s estimated that between roughly 95% of the native population died from the displacement and disease brought on by Columbus, the Spanish and later the arrival of the Pilgrims in 1620. And really that was only the beginning of the destruction.

More and more of the present-day United States is realizing that Columbus isn’t the hero that gradeschool texts once told of. The states of Alaska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Vermont, and Oregon and cities like Austin, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, and over 50 others have all dropped Columbus Day references and replaced the holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Hawaii skips Columbus day completely, opting instead to celebrate Discoverer’s Day — coincidentally on the same date — to commemorate the Polynesian discoverers of Hawaii.

Still, some states (and the federal government itself) aren’t letting go of Columbus Day, as it’s still federally recognized. Pennsylvania has been resistant to the change completely, notably by Italian-American’s who feel a kinship with the Italian explorer. And efforts in Atlanta, Georgia have been unsuccessful — though the motivation is there!

Here is the entire list of American cities who have replaced Columbus Day, if you don’t see yours, get active in your community and let your voice be heard.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Alpena, Michigan
Amherst, Massachusetts
Anadarko, Oklahoma
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Asheville, North Carolina
Austin, Texas
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Bangor, Maine
Belfast, Maine
Berkeley, California
Bexar County, Texas
Boulder, Colorado
Burbank, California
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Carrboro, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Davenport, Iowa
Denver, Colorado
Durango, Colorado
Durham, New Hampshire
East Lansing, Michigan
Eugene, Oregon.
Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Ithaca, New York
Lawrence, Kansas
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Madison, Wisconsin
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Moscow, Idaho
Nashville, Tennessee
Newstead, New York
Norman, Oklahoma
Northampton, Massachusetts
Oberlin, Ohio
Olympia, Washington
Orono, Maine
Phoenix, Arizona
Portland, Maine
Portland, Oregon
Salt Lake City, Utah
San Fernando, California
San Francisco, California
San Luis Obispo, California
Santa Cruz, California
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Seattle, Washington
South Fulton, Georgia
Spokane, Washington
St. Paul, Minnesota
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Traverse City, Michigan
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Watsonville, California
Ypsilanti, Michigan

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