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San Francisco votes to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day

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San Francisco’s primary legislative body voted Tuesday to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in order to recognize the “historic discrimination and violence” against Native Americans in the U.S.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to make the change. The single dissenting vote was from Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents a historically Italian neighborhood. The measure has faced opposition from many Italian-Americans who say Columbus Day celebrates their heritage.

“San Francisco has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards indigenous peoples in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating health, education, and social crises among Native Americans,” the measure reads.

San Francisco joins Los Angeles, Minneapolis and other cities nationwide who have renamed the holiday. Sixteen states do not recognize Columbus Day as a public holiday, and South Dakota has celebrated “Native American Day” for nearly three decades.

San Francisco was first urged to make the change in 2007, according to the measure, when the city’s Human Rights Commission published a report written by a Native American task force that called for the holiday to be renamed.

{mosads}In his 2016 Columbus Day proclamation, former President Obama directly addressed the suffering of Native Americans at the hands of Christopher Columbus and other European explorers.

“As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers,” he wrote.

President Trump did not mention Native Americans in his 2017 proclamation, but lauded the contributions of Italian-Americans to the country.

“The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation,” Trump’s proclamation read.

Tags Columbus Day Donald Trump indigenous peoples day Native Americans Native Americans in the United States

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