Columbus Day will be Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time in D.C. this year

Lawmakers passed emergency legislation Tuesday to make the change

By Andrew Giambrone

The District will celebrate next Monday as “Indigenous People’s Day” instead of Columbus Day under a fast-tracked bill the D.C. Council approved Tuesday. The emergency legislation redesignates October 14, 2019 to recognize the contributions of Native Americans, as many other jurisdictions, including Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and North Carolina, have done.

The vote came during a regular Council meeting and won the support of a supermajority of councilmembers. Chairman Phil Mendelson and Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans voted “present” on the measure, with Evans saying some of his Italian-American constituents had raised concerns about changing the name. Because the bill was emergency legislation, it was not subject to a hearing and will last only for 90 days; a permanent version remains pending.

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