Every 2nd Monday Americans celebrate Columbus Day in honor of the man who 'discovered America".

Twitter @LastrealIndian

But thanks to the tireless work of hundreds of people who understand the true legacy of Christopher Columbus, several states have decided to ditch Columbus Day and celebrate Native Americans instead! Get the details and learn about some amazing Ingenious People right here in Buffalo.

For the first time this year, Seattle and Minneapolis will recognize "Indigenous People's Day." The Seattle City Council voted last week to reinvent the holiday to celebrate "the thriving cultures and values of Indigenous Peoples in our region."

 

In April, the Minneapolis City Council also voted in favor of "Indigenous People's Day" to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwa and other indigenous nations add to the city.

Today, 16 states, including Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon, don't recognize Columbus Day as a public holiday. South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day since 1990. Berkeley, California, is thought to be the first city to adopt Indigenous People's Day in 1992.

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As a Native American myself, I have never understood why a man who landed on a continent full of thriving citizens could be credited as discovering a new world. He thought he arrived in India and is the reason so many people still refer to Natives as "Indians"! And that's not the worst of it. Columbus was said to have personally rapped and murdered "Indians" and is partly responsible for the near extinction of an entire race of people.

President Snyder

Here in Western New York, Columbus Day is still alive in well, despite the powerful presence of the Seneca Nation. But I personally would like to acknowledge a few key members of the Native Community who are keeping traditions alive for generations to come.

Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder
Michael Martin Michael: Executive Director of Native American Community Services (NACS)
Pete Hill: Health & Wellness Director Native American Community Services (NACS)

Joanne Shenandoah

Grammy Award Winning Singer Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America's most celebrated and critically acclaimed native American musicians with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music awards) and 17 recordings. She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, with praise for her work to promote universal peace. She is a board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge.