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Detroit plans to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day next year

Oct 11, 2017

Detroit plans to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day starting next year instead of Columbus Day.

A tribal member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Credit Eva Petoskey

The Detroit News reports City Council approved a proposal Tuesday on the issue about how to mark the second Monday of October.

Detroit joins five other  Michigan cities that have adopted Indigenous Peoples Day, including Alpena, Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Traverse City and Ypsilanti.

Other U.S. cities have made changes, as well. Columbus Day, the federal holiday commemorating the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus, has been protested by those who argue his arrival to the Americas ushered in centuries of mistreatment of Native Americans.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez proposed the resolution, saying it will help illuminate history that's overlooked by "mainstream society."

Several people spoke out against the proposal, saying Columbus Day should be kept and calling the change an attack on Italian-Americans.

In Detroit, the newspaper says city workers don't get Columbus Day as a paid day off.