The Los Angeles City Council decided to focus on and celebrate the natives and indigenous people on Columbus Day instead of Christopher Columbus. According to GoodNewsNetwork, “Americans see Columbus as a representative of slavery, racism, and genocide.”
“This gesture of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, the great-grandson of Italian immigrants.
Columbus Day, which has been recognized as a national holiday since 1937, will now be the same day as Indigenous Peoples Day. Other cities such as Albuquerque, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and Portland have also committed to this replacement.
Congratulations Los Angeles! @LACityCouncil has voted to replace Columbus Day with #IndigenousPeoplesDay! #RiseUpAsOne #GenIndigenous pic.twitter.com/q8W2HxEbVC
— California Endowment (@CalEndow) August 30, 2017
Italian Americans were opposed to the name change, saying Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas was an important part of their culture. But Native American groups believe removing the name would be a symbolic and necessary change.
“With or without Columbus, Italians will continue to celebrate their sacrifices and contributions to this great country and this great city,” Joe Buscaino, who is a first generation Italian American, said.
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