Columbus Day hangs on in Cleveland after opposing sides reach compromise over Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Columbus Day hangs on in Cleveland after opposing sides reach compromise over Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Cleveland City Council votes to declare Aug. 9 as Indigenous Peoples' Day Wednesday at City Hall. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday declaring Aug. 9 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The original resolution -- sponsored by Councilman Basheer Jones -- sought to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but it quickly hit resistance from Little Italy residents who argued the explorer represents part of their Italian-American heritage.

“Mark my words! One day soon Cleveland will catch up with the rest of the country and give justice to Indigenous people by removing Columbus from the honor of even mentioning his name! I guarantee it!” Jones tweeted today.

Cleveland’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day will coincide with International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994.

Several cities across the country have replaced or renamed Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. These cities include Los Angeles, Denver, Austin and Oberlin, Ohio among others.

States such as Alaska, Maine, New Mexico and South Dakota recognize indigenous people rather than Columbus on the second Monday of October.

Every year, about 15,000 people celebrate Columbus Day along Mayfield Road in the city’s Little Italy corridor.

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