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HomeExclusiveColumbus day: US marks ‘Indigenous Peoples' Day on Oct’11th first time

Columbus day: US marks ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Oct’11th first time

Newsman: Today is October 11th,Colombus day and the Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The United Sates marks this year for the first time ever as ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day which is ‘Columbus day’ at the same time. This happens as a U.S. president has officially recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The move shifts focus from Columbus Day, the federal holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus, which shares the same date as Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.

President Biden issued a proclamation on Friday to observe this Oct. 11 as a day to honor Native Americans, their resilience and their contributions to American society throughout history, even as they faced assimilation, discrimination and genocide spanning generations. Columbus Day remains a federal holiday that gives federal government employees the day off from work.

The day was first founded as a way to appreciate the mistreatment of Italian Americans, and Congress eventually made it a federal holiday in 1934.

New York City public schools are closed on Monday.Like everything else according to the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Columbus Day is now called Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day. The DOE announced “Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day will celebrate the contributions and legacies of Italian Americans and recognize that Native people are the first inhabitants of the land that became our country. By including these holidays on our calendar, we are honoring the past, present, and future contributions of Indigenous communities and Italian Americans.”

The 77th Annual Columbus Day Parade happens Monday, October 11, 2021 on 5th Avenue. Michael Pascucci has been named Grand Marshal of 2021 Columbus Celebration and will lead In-person Columbus Day Parade. This yearly celebration is filled with colorful floats and rousing musical performances. The parade honors Italian-Americans’ contributions to New York City and draws around million spectators and 35,000 marchers. The parade travels from 44th Street to 72nd Street and marching bands will perform along its length, and there’s also a “red carpet” area between 67th and 69th Streets for stage acts—special passes are needed to get up close.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day advocates say the recognition helps correct a “whitewashed” American history that has glorified Europeans like Italian explorer Christopher Columbus who have committed violence against Indigenous communities. Native Americans have long criticized the inaccuracies and harmful narratives of Columbus’ legacy that credited him with his “discovery” of the Americas when Indigenous people were there first.

The idea was first proposed by Indigenous peoples at a United Nations conference in 1977 set to address discrimination against Nativesas NPR has reported. But South Dakota became the first state to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples day in 1989, officially celebrating it the following year.

Four years ago, the Native leader started an organization alongside Arizona state Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai, Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative, with a similar mission: to tell a more positive and more accurate tale of Native Americans by replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Talking to NPR news Mandy Van Heuvelen, the cultural interpreter coordinator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian said,

“It is difficult to grapple with the complete accomplishments of individuals and also the costs of what those accomplishments came at,” “There are no set rules on how one should appreciate the day.. It’s all about reflection, recognition, celebration and an education.” Van Heuvelen, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe from South Dakota.

“It can be a day of reflection of our history in the United States, the role Native people have played in it, the impacts that history has had on native people and communities, and also a day to gain some understanding of the diversity of Indigenous peoples,” she said.

What might seem to some like a simple name change can lead to real social progress for Indigenous Americans, said Van Heuvelen.

“What these changes accomplish, piece by piece, is visibility for Native people in the United States,” she said. “Until Native people are or are fully seen in our society and in everyday life, we can’t accomplish those bigger changes. As long as Native people remain invisible, it’s much more easier for people to look past those real issues and those real concerns within those communities.”

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