The Echo

Staff Editorial: City should commit to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day

In 46 states, the second Monday in October is celebrated as Columbus Day. But in the past few years, there have been initiatives to focus on celebrating native culture instead and rename the holiday Indigenous People’s Day. According to Time, the change has gone into effect in Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota, as well as some other individual cities.

According to St. Louis Park’s calendar, Oct. 8 is “Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day.” The Echo Editorial Board believes although this is positive change, there is more the city should do to involve and educate the community on the reasons for the name change. St. Louis Park should make the move to change the name of Columbus Day officially to Indigenous People’s Day, without including both names.

According to History’s article on Columbus Day, it is a holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492. The consequences of this expedition and the actions that followed were detrimental to the indigenous peoples. The fact that a man who committed mass genocide is being celebrated with a national holiday has made many people rightfully outraged. We believe it is an injustice to honor him in such a way. We feel that instead of celebrating Columbus’ inexplicable massacre of indigenous people, we should celebrate the rich history and culture of native americans. Although their history does include Columbus, by no means does it exclusively pertain to him. Similar to the idea that black history doesn’t start with slavery, Native American history did not start or end with Columbus.

The Editorial Board agrees and urges students to research the truth about Columbus and the horrific acts of imperialism he committed at the expense of the ones who lived here before most Americans. We believe that it is the school’s duty to add this into the curriculum every Indigenous People’s Day and beyond. However, we understand the slash on the city calendar may be used to clarify the switch. We believe there should be a meeting, celebration, art exhibit or panel to educate the public on what the change is and why it is important. That way, the goal of celebrating native culture can truly be achieved.

 

 

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Staff Editorial: City should commit to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day