Aug 15, 2015 - Saint Paul Minnesota Drops Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day
On August 12th, the Saint Paul City Council unanimously passed a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The resolution, which “recognizes the occupation of Dakota homelands for the building of our City and knows indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial” states: “Declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of Saint Paul; encouraging other institutions to recognize the Day; and reaffirming the City’s commitment to promote the well-being and growth of Saint Paul’s American Indian and Indigenous community.”
The resolution also states: “that Indigenous Peoples Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwe, other Indigenous nations add to our city.”
The Saint Paul City Council resolution to abolish Columbus Day and replace with Indigenous Peoples’ Day follows last years efforts to establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Minneapolis, Seattle, Grand Rapids & Bellingham, WA. Recently Traverse City, Mich and Newstead, NY passed resolutions to establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day in replace of Columbus Day.
The idea of an Indigenous People’s Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native nations to the United Nations’ International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.
While efforts to get the US Congress to abolish the federal holiday Columbus Day have stalled, recent efforts have seen indigenous grassroots activists turning organizing energies towards getting local jurisdictions to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.