WASHINGTON - A new bill was proposed to legally change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day in the District.
The Indigenous Peoples' Day Amendment Act of 2017 was introduced by At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds on Tuesday and would legally change the name of the holiday in Washington, D.C.
Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota celebrate Indigenous People’s Day as a state, and more than 50 cities celebrate it including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle.
In a statement, Bonds said Indigenous Peoples' Day would not "tarnish the legacy [of] European explorers" but give us all an "opportunity to recognize those who were truly here first… preserve their story and give them a permanent place in history."
The legislation was co-introduced by councilmembers David Grosso, Elissa Silverman, Robert White, Brianne Nadeau, Mary Cheh, Charles Allen, and Trayon White.
Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas on behalf of the Spanish on October 12, 1492. Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October and was formally designated as a national holiday on Oct. 1, 1934, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The celebration of Columbus Day has long been controversial as many point to the cruel treatment of Native Americans brought on my European colonialism.