Columbus Day renamed Indigenous Peoples Day in some US cities

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Columbus Day renamed Indigenous Peoples Day in some US cities
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In the Bay Area, Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day is a federal holiday and some schools are out, but what the day really means is a matter of perspective.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday is Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day, depending on where you live. Here in the Bay Area, it is a federal holiday and some schools are out, but what the day really means is a matter of perspective.

In Chicago, the traditional Columbus Day Parade went on as usual but in other cities, places like St. Paul and Portland, this day has been rechristened Indigenous Peoples Day.

After protests in the Bay Area and around the country, Berkeley became the first city to officially rename the holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992.

"It's a welcome development. We want to go deeper into this arrangement and this set of customs so that we can actually restore our ability to take care of ourselves and be on this land as we were on this land before colonization happened," Indigenous Land Access Committee's Hank Herrera said.

"It started in the late 19th century in large part as response to the situation of Italian immigrants to the United States," UC Berkeley History Chair Mark Peterson said.

Peterson says Columbus Day was originally conceived as a way to recognize a group of people who experienced their own share of discrimination but has evolved through a closer look at history.

"Drawing attention the very destructive consequences of European colonization, the diseases, the forms of slavery that were brought to the New World," he said.

Congress originally designated the second Sunday in October as Columbus Day in 1934.