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Minneapolis Replaces ‘Columbus Day’ With ‘Indigenous People Day’

Clyde Bellecourt, also known as Thunder Before the Storm, holds up a condor feather after leading a prayer as the Ringing Shield Drum circle sings, before the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted  to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day.
Clyde Bellecourt, also known as Thunder Before the Storm, holds up a condor feather after leading a prayer as the Ringing Shield Drum circle sings, before the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day. AP

The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously Friday to call the second Monday of October—observed as the federal holiday Columbus Day—Indigenous People’s Day.

The day’s name has been part of an ongoing national debate over whether it is offensive to the American Indian culture to credit Christopher Columbus with discovering America.

Columbus Day has been a federal holiday since 1937, but states including Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and South Dakota do not honor it.

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Hundreds of people gathered at Minneapolis City Hall to commemorate the vote, including Native American activists who had been seeking the name change for many years, the Star Tribune reported.

As part of the decided proposal, state and city government will still recognize Columbus Day “in accordance with the federal holiday established in 1937,” according to the Star Tribune, but the name change will be reflected on all official city communications.

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