A year after neighboring Minneapolis decided it would celebrate “Indigenous Peoples Day” instead of Columbus Day, St. Paul has followed suit.
St. Paul City Council passed a resolution on Wednesday saying, from now on, it will mark the second Monday in October in a way that reflects the “ongoing struggle” of indigenous people, while recognizing the contribution and history of the American Indian people, KSTP reports.
Although Columbus Day is the official federal holiday and has been since 1937 – recognizing the first voyage to the Americas made by the Italian explorer while sailing for Spain – the TV station notes that St. Paul will be encouraging businesses, organizations and public groups to take on the new interpretation this year.
Cities across the United States have been having similar discussions as St. Paul in recent years, with Minneapolis among those switching to Indigenous Peoples Day along with Berkeley, California, and Seattle.
South Dakota meanwhile recognizes the second Monday of October as “Native American Day.” And last year, Red Wing in Minnesota renamed it Chief Red Wing Day.
The Pioneer Press reports the resolution passed by the council notes that St. Paul was built “on the homelands of the Dakota people” and that the city “knows indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial.”
There was only one letter of opposition to the change, which came from a St. Paul resident who urged the council to rename it Italian-Americans Day instead, and pick another day of the year for Indigenous Peoples Day.