City Of Oberlin Replaces Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples' Day

Aug 22, 2017

The city of Oberlin, southwest of Cleveland, will celebrate the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day instead of the federally recognized Columbus Day holiday.

Oberlin, home to liberal arts school Oberlin College, is the first Ohio city to officially make such a change.

The city council voted unanimously on Monday after hearing public comments about whether to celebrate indigenous people rather than explorer Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas.

Some residents in the city objected to replacing Columbus Day, arguing that it's more of a celebration of Italian-American heritage than of Columbus as an individual. Some suggested that Indigenous People's Day could be celebrated on a different date.

Supporters of the change argued that honoring the Native Americans who lived in the area was the right thing to do.

Several California cities, including Berkeley and Santa Cruz, also celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day. The state of South Dakota officially celebrates Native American Day instead.

Protesters in Central Ohio have long used Columbus Day to protest against statues of Christopher Columbus downtown, among other causes.