Posted on October 9, 2019

Columbus Day Will Be Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the First Time in D.C. This Year

Andrew Giambrone, Curbed, October 8, 2019

The District will celebrate next Monday as “Indigenous People’s Day” instead of Columbus Day under a fast-tracked bill the D.C. Council approved Tuesday. The emergency legislation redesignates October 14, 2019 to recognize the contributions of Native Americans, as many other jurisdictions, including Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and North Carolina, have done.

{snip} Because the bill was emergency legislation, it was not subject to a hearing and will last only for 90 days; a permanent version remains pending.

“Columbus Day was officially designated as a federal holiday in 1937 despite the fact that Columbus did not discover North America, despite the fact that millions of people were already living in North America upon his arrival in the Americas, and despite the fact that Columbus never set foot on the shores of the current United States,” said David Grosso, the at-large councilmember who authored the legislation, in a statement. “Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated, and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas. We cannot continue to allow this history to be celebrated as a holiday in the District.” Previous similar bills have lagged since 2015.  Nacotchtank Native Americans used to live in the area.