Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 in Featured

Newstead, NY Replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Newstead, NY Replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Your heroes are not our heroes, as indigenous people, why would we recognize a person of his stature? Acknowledging the native people versus what he did is much more significant.”  ~Al Parker Seneca

On May 26th, the Newstead Town Council unanimously voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.  Newstead, a small rural town located in the northeast corner of Erie County, which includes portions of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is the first in the region to designate the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The purpose is to celebrate and honor natives.” Justin Rooney Newstead Councilman

Movement towards establishing Indigenous Peoples’ Day is credited in part to the actions of their local high school lacrosse team, the Arkon Tigers.  In March, lacrosse players from Arkon high school boycotted a non-league game against Lancaster because of their team name the “Redskins”.  The district stood by its players, the majority of whom are Native American.  Following Arkon’s lead several surrounding lacrosse teams also boycotted their games against Lancaster leading the school to drop its “Redskins” mascot.

Newstead joins Seattle, Minneapolis, and Bellingham, WA who all voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day last year.

Posted by: Matt Remle