The city of San Francisco will no longer be celebrating Christopher Columbus, indigenous genocide or his myths of discovery but rather celebrate California’s indigenous peoples by replacing the federally recognized holiday with ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’. Supervisor Malia Cohen sponsored the action and the vote passed 10-1 on Tuesday evening.
The lone city lawmaker to go against the vote said he had been swarmed with emails from Italian communities of which he represented and voted in support of their interests but when he proposed a delay the other supervisors shot it down claiming the switch was “long overdue”.
“Correcting our history and the history of the native people that were brutally both slaughtered and killed off by disease who were in this land prior to an Italian explorer coming and ‘discovering’ the land that people had been on for a very long time is very overdue” – Supervisor Hillary Ronen
California has over 100 federally recognized tribes and the new holiday will give citizens a moment to reflect on indigenous culture, native rights and resistance, historical trauma and the strength of surviving native populations. According to the SFexaminer the resolution referenced a 2007 report titled “Discrimination by Omission: Issues of Concern for Native Americans in San Francisco.”
The new change is now in effect and as follows states that San Francisco is “to declare the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples Day.”