This week the Los Angeles City Council voted to right a historical wrong of epic proportions. Indigenous Peoples Day will replace Columbus Day as a city Holiday. The change will go into effect no later than 2019.
A brief history: Christopher Columbus and his men were lost when they landed on the shores of an inhabited Caribbean Island in 1492. They immediately enslaved and subjugated the Indigenous People there. Columbus never set foot in present day United States but he did return to the Western Hemisphere three additional times subjugating and inflicting atrocities on all of the Indigenous People he and his men encountered. This true history is documented by credentialed scholars and researchers throughout academia. [source]
Los Angeles has the largest population of Native Americans and Indigenous People of any city in the United States. Having Columbus Day on our administrative code is an affront to truth and justice and I couldn't be more proud of the action we took to remove this symbol of destructive, revisionist thinking. The Los Angeles Administrative Code will reflect this change on the city calendar, marking the occasion each year on the second Monday in October. We also chose to recognize every October 12th as Italian American Heritage Day, a fitting acknowledgement of the many contributions to Los Angeles culture from the Italian American community that help this city thrive.
This moment was a victory for all of us; not just Native Americans, not just Indigenous People, not just Angelenos, but all people. We acted boldly and we acted with courage.
Hundreds of people participated in this two-year process every step of the way. There are too many to thank here but my gratitude to them is limitless. Many have waited their entire lives for this little slice of justice and there were tears of joy from hundreds who attended the packed Council Chambers on this day. The moment was historic and it is my hope that what we did together this past week will shine the light on truth and justice across the land.
PHOTO: LA TIMES