ABC 7: L.A. council panel backs plan for a new city holiday: Indigenous Peoples Day

By Jory Rand


A proposal to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is one step closer to reality in the city of Los Angeles.

The rules committee voted unanimously Wednesday night in favor of the change, but the proposal still needs full council approval.

“I feel hopeful and I am enormously encouraged that Angelenos will have a yearly celebration that everyone can be proud of,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the motion’s author. “This is a big step forward toward a restorative, healing process for the Native American community.”

Members of the Native American community went to Los Angeles City Hall to make their case for dumping Columbus Day as an official city holiday no later than 2019.

“Indigenous people are the first and always the last and forgotten. Let’s not forget them,” said Rudy Ortega Jr. to the council.

“Why would you not repeal a painful reminder of our history and replace it with a day that reinforces the strength and resilience of my people,” another woman said during the meeting.

O’Farrell first proposed the resolution in 2015. Four council members have voiced opposition, saying they would rather see Columbus Day become Immigrants Day, and Indigenous Peoples Day could be celebrated on a different day.

“It’s not something just in history to us. It’s something real. It’s something in our daily lives,” said Patricia Lopez of Whittier, who is a Pueblo native.

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