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DC Votes to Rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day


DC Votes to Rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' DayJonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images
In this Sept. 12, 2014, file photo, the flag of the District of Columbia and the American flag fly in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. Council voted Tuesday to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Council Member David Grosso introduced emergency legislation for the name change. Ten Council members approved it, and Chairman Phil Mendelson and Council Member Jack Evans voted "present."

"Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated, and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas," Grosso said in a statement.

"We cannot continue to allow this history to be celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia. The government of the District of Columbia is clear that we are a government that values equality, diversity, and inclusion. Continuing to observe a holiday built on the celebration of oppression runs counter to those values," he continued.

The legislation would go into affect once it's signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

But the name change might only be temporary. If no permanent legislation is passed next year, with congressional approval, the name of the Oct. 14 would again be Columbus Day, WTOP reported.

Several U.S. states have already voted to change the name of Columbus Day, although that remains the name of the official federal holiday.

Most recently, Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin signed an executive order Tuesday declaring the second Monday in October — when Columbus Day is celebrated annually — as Indigenous Peoples' Day, NBC affiliate WMTV reported. Other states that have moved away from observing Columbus Day include Minnesota, Vermont, Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota.