WXXI AM News

Connections: Should Columbus Day be changed to Indigenous People's Day?

Oct 9, 2017

It's the second Monday in October, and while many cities and states celebrate Columbus Day, others have officially changed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples' Day. There is a movement in cities across the nation to make such a change in an effort to celebrate Native Americans, their history, and their culture.

Many people who support Indigenous Peoples' Day say we shouldn't celebrate Columbus -- a man who promoted slavery and was responsible for the genocide of Native Americans. Yet, some Italian Americans who defend Columbus Day say scrapping the holiday would be an affront to their heritage.

This hour, we discuss the holiday, what it means, and how schools teach Native American history. We also talk about a new textbook, Native American: A History.

  • Peter Jemison, historic site manager for Ganondagan
  • Michael Oberg, distinguished professor of history at SUNY Geneseo, and author of Native America: A History