Massachusetts City Declares Indigenous Peoples' Day

The city council in Cambridge, Massachusetts, voted unanimously to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day.

The holiday, which takes place on the second Monday in October, was the subject of a resolution that explicitly commemorates indigenous peoples and takes into account "the suffering they faced following European conquest of their land," according to Boston.com.

“In terms of my Italian perspective, I view it as really making it a day I can actually be proud of, as opposed to a day that we get off of school for someone who committed, even by those standards, some of the worst atrocities and genocide in world history,” said Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, who supported the decision.

Councilor Nadeem Mazen said it was important to reclaim the day for native Americans.

A committee meeting and public hearing on the issue was held on May 26, The Boston Globe reports.

"We had a fantastic discussion on the history of Columbus Day and the importance of Italian-Americans in our community," Mazen said at the meeting.

He added that if the city decides to hold a celebration of Indigenous Peoples' Day, it would be a more solemn and serious affair than previous Columbus Day celebrations.

The change in Cambridge comes as several other cities have already changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day, including Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon.

Sources: Boston.com, The Boston Globe / Photo credit: Boston.com

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