NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- For the last 80 years, Columbus Day has been a federal holiday in the U.S.
But more cities and towns are choosing to stop honoring Christopher Columbus and have Indigenous Peoples Day instead.
“It’s important to recognize the folks that were here, and still here,” said Jay Chute of Northampton.
One man told 22News what you choose to celebrate, should be up to the individual.
“Either way would be just fine. Everyone has a right and a choice to choose in what they want to celebrate, said Anthony Huertas of Granby, MA.
Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the Native Americans who lived in North America long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Amherst and Northampton voted last year to rename Columbus Day, “Indigenous Peoples Day”.
Northampton is one city in the Pioneer Valley that recognizes the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day and not Columbus Day. 22News asked the city’s mayor why they made the switch last year to Indigenous Peoples Day.
“There were indigenous peoples on this continent before Columbus,” said Northampton Mayor. David Narkewicz. “We wanted to acknowledge it for people in the community that part of the history was not being told.”
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, and Austin, Texas have all approved changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.