Columbus Day Will Now Be Indigenous Peoples Day In Boston

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Acting Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order Wednesday establishing every second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Boston.

This is part of an effort to acknowledge the Indigenous history in and around the city as well as recognize the land of local tribes.

“Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the rich cultural legacies of our Indigenous communities while also declaring Boston is ready to work with our neighbors to create a more just future,” Janey said.

She also encouraged local businesses, organizations and public institutions to use the day to reflect on the historic policies that have commonly suppressed Indigenous cultures.

“Observing Indigenous Peoples Day is about replacing the colonial myths passed down from generation to generation with the true history of the land upon which our nation was founded.”

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Members of the Massachusett Tribe had their part in making the signing official. Elizabeth Solomon of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag said she was happy that the city has started to recognize and celebrate Indigenous peoples.

“For far too long, the indigenous history of this place has been obscured, and frequently erased, by the histories, myths, and priorities of the dominant culture,” Solomon said. “Many thanks to Mayor Janey and the many members of her administration who worked with the indigenous community to make this happen.”

Boston joined over two dozen Massachusetts cities and towns that also recognize Indigenous Peoples Day including Newton, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, and Amherst.

The order made this Monday, October 11, the first time the holiday will be recognized. It is also the day of the 125th Boston Marathon.

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Columbus Day is still listed as a federal holiday but this change has received some pushback.

City Councilor Lydia Edwards was surprised by the action and did not think it fostered open conversation.

“We should absolutely honor and celebrate Indigenous people as a city,” Edwards wrote on Facebook. “Boston will forever celebrate, honor, and acknowledge Italian Americans. With the right conversation, led by our new elected mayor, that recognizes the urgency of the moment we as a community will do both."

Janey, however, believed both groups of people can be equally recognized.

WBZ’s James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) has more on the changes this motion presents:

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