The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will change the second Monday in October to Indigenous Peoples Day, following a similar decision by the city to replace the controversial Columbus Day in local government calendars.
The county motion introduced by Supervisor Hilda Solís was voted on Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The county representative for the 1st District, which includes the Eastside, said the change is not about erasing history but is about understanding how America’s ancestors oppressed “certain groups of people,” adding that “while we can’t change the past, we can acknowledge and make that history right today.”
The #BOS passed my motion, along with my co-author @SheilaKuehl, to make #IndigenousPeoplesDay an official County holiday! pic.twitter.com/1Bc9Rgcxi2
— Hilda Solis (@HildaSolis) October 3, 2017
Indigenous activists say the change is overdue and that the it provides a symbolic correction to the historical narrative, according to the newspaper. Others of Italian ancestry have said eliminating Columbus Day erases part of their heritage.
The change is to take place no later than 2019 and –as in the city of Los Angeles– designates Oct. 12 as an unpaid “Italian Heritage Day”.
Los Angeles approved its motion in August. Several other cities around the U.S. have changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, including Seattle and Denver.
Columbus Day was established as a national holiday in 1937. The LA Times reports that supporters of the holiday say it celebrates Italian American history and that the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus should not be held responsible for the decimation of indigenous people.
Photo above from Supervisor Hilda Solís’ Twitter account.