LA City Council votes to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day

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The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to replace the Columbus Day holiday in October with Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to replace the Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Councilmembers voted 14-1 to make the second Monday in October a day to commemorate indigenous, aboriginal and native people. It will be a paid holiday for city employees.

The proposal had already been approved by a council committee.


Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation tribe, pushed for the switch. Some activists view Christopher Columbus as a symbol of genocide for native peoples.

Getting rid of Columbus Day has drawn opposition from many Italian-Americans who view it as a celebration of their national heritage because of Columbus' Italian lineage.

Councilman Joe Buscaino, who is an Italian-American,was the lone "no" vote on Wednesday. He had pushed to declare Aug. 9 as Indigenous Peoples Day and replace Columbus Day with a day celebrating diverse cultures in Los Angeles. Buscaino's proposal was rejected by the Council on Wednesday.


In 2009, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger eliminated the Columbus Day state holiday as part of a budget-cutting measure, but Los Angeles continued to observe the holiday as one of 12 where city workers get a paid day off.

Los Angeles joins San Francisco and several other cities nationwide in honoring Native Americans in lieu of Columbus.

Columbus Day will remain a federal holiday.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

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