Anadarko City, OK – For decades, celebrating ‘Columbus Day’ has been hotly debated. Many feel Christopher Columbus is largely responsible for the decimation of the Native Americans, and giving him a day of celebration just adds insult to injury. In a progressive move, a town in Oklahoma has changed all that.
The Anadarko City Council voted on September 14th to change ‘Columbus Day’ to ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day.’ The vote was unanimous, and from now on, instead of honoring Columbus, the town will honor Native Americans.
The idea originally came from local Native Americans who convinced the council why it’s insulting for Americans to honor Columbus, who they consider a genocidal imperialist. Considering Oklahoma’s large Native American population, it felt like an appropriate place to begin making a change.
Anadarko isn’t alone. A few other municipalities in Oklahoma followed suit. Mayor Kyle Eastwood supported the decision. “Here we are in 2015, rectifying a past wrong. I think it may be a little past due, but it’s done. And we’re leading the state in this regard,” said Eastwood to “Red Dirt Report.”
In 2015, Indigenous Peoples’ Day falls on October 12, and citizens expect a city-wide observance. City employees get the day off as a holiday and there will be a formal signing of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation.
If the idea catches on, Columbus Day might soon be history.
Photo: Red Dirt Report, KGW
An Oklahoma city is replacing Columbus Day with a new holiday.