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Austin Celebrates First Indigenous Peoples’ Day
For the first time, the city of Austin is celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day.
Last Thursday, the Austin City Council passed a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday celebrating the Indigenous peoples of North America.
While Columbus Day is a federal holiday and can’t be eradicated by the city of Austin, the city will still be removing all mentions of the holiday from its calendars, according to Elaine Hart, the interim City Manager.
The resolution states that honoring Christopher Columbus’s role in history promotes values of intolerance and violence. It also states that the city must oppose racism toward Native Americans because it can lead to inequality. Furthermore, it encourages Austin Public Schools to include Indigenous Peoples’ history in their curriculum.
Austin is following the lead of many cities, including Seattle, Denver, Albuquerque, N.M., and Los Angeles, according to the Austin-American Statesman. These cities have also changed the holiday’s name in an effort to start a process of healing and reconciliation.
To read more about this change, read the Statesman’s article here.