Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

SLO replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day

SLO replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day

- Minneapolis, St. Paul and Grand Rapids, Minnesota are a few of the US cities that celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day on October 9 instead of Columbus Day.

Alanna Pyke "19, who is Kanien'kéha of the Mohawk Nation and the vice president of ANAAY, said Indigenous People's Day is significant to her as a celebration of "her own resistance, [her] ancestors" resistance and resilience" and the survival of indigenous people in America even as "the odds were stacked against" them.

And they made it count, with traditional music, dance and plenty of frybread.

Columbus Day is still a federal holiday.

Alaska is the second state to adopt the contrasting holiday. Although members of the Yale community have celebrated Indigenous People's Day for several decades, participants in this year's events noted that the celebrations saw new levels of collaboration among Yale's cultural centers and drew particularly large crowds.

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The cultural shift has caused controversy in some places, much like the recent movement to tear down Confederate statues.

Grand Rapids also passed an Indigenous Peoples Day resolution in 2014.

"We've gotten a little bit of flack about Indigenous Peoples Day and how we're disrespecting or not liking non-Native people because we don't want to recognize Columbus and Columbus Day", he said.

"Celebrating Columbus Day is a real challenging thing for Native people in the United States. But I am going to recognize our indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years". UAS Chancellor Rich Caulfield said the occasion offers important lessons for everyone. The law officially changing the day was signed into permanence as HB 78, which Walker signed earlier this year, with approval from the Alaska Federation of Natives. "It doesn't recognize and we don't speak about the impact that contact had on the indigenous people of our nation", said Darlene Trigg with the Social Justice Task Force in Nome.

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