Columbus Day is changed in Cincy

Columbus Day is changed in Cincy

On Wednesday, October 3, Cincinnati’s city council voted 6-0 in favor of replacing the title, Columbus day, with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.

Originally, Columbus Day celebrates the voyages led by Christopher Columbus from Europe to the Americas originating in 1492. The many critics of the holiday argue that it ignores the oppression that the European colonists displayed towards the Native American cultures.

Scientific studies have shown that indigenous peoples in ancient America lost as much as half their population to disease, warfare and harsh treatment. A large area of suffrage was in the Ohio River Valley, close to present day Cincinnati.

Therefore, a lot of the Native Americans’ ancestors are located in our region; which makes the people in Cincinnati leading advocates for the switch.

The idea of changing the label, Columbus Day, started in Geneva during the year 1977. During the International Conference of Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas the idea was brought to attention.

The first city council to actually change the name was in Berkley, California. Soon after, Columbus, Ohio made the switch.

This means a lot to Native Americans and other ethnicities in the area to change the name. They are enthralled that council felt the need to change the day’s name.

I asked Elder teacher Mr. Matt Eisle about the topic and he said,“In my opinion we should keep Columbus Day the way it was and act similar to the way we do on Martin Luther King Day. Meaning, that on that day we should not just think about Columbus, but also the whole time period of the new world including the indigenous people.”

In that way, I think everyone can agree that on the holiday, we should look at the bigger picture of the meaning towards to the holiday’s title.

Eisle said, “I think instead our city council should be worried about more relevant issues in our city: budget, crime, overdoses, homelessness and infrastructure rather than symbolic proclamations.”

Although they changed the name, it is still celebrated on the same day as Columbus Day every year.

The Queen city became the 14th city in the United States to change the holiday. Among the more notable other cities to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day are: Los Angeles, Nashville, Denver, Phoenix and Seattle. Cincinnati now joins the list as another large city to recognize this controversial holiday.

Whether you are agree with it or not, you must respect the history behind the name, Indigenous Peoples’ Day.