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Protesters call for state-wide replacement of Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day – Boston News, Weather, Sports

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BOSTON (WHDH) – Protestors around Boston Common today called for state lawmakers to officialize Indigenous People’s Day statewide.

The protest, hosted by Indigenous People’s Day MA, advocated for the state legislature to take a vote to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, and urged more protections of Indigenous Lands.

“We don’t own our reservations, they’re entrusted to the government,” one protester said. “That’s why there’s only 400,000 Cherokees. That’s why there’s only like 277 Navajo, only 90 Hopi. They could fill Fenway! So this is why we’re here.”

According to the event Facebook post, the goal of the organization’s work is to ultimately recognize Indigenous community and history.

“Columbus did not discover the Americas; you can’t “discover” lands that are already inhabited,” the event page reads. “The historical record needs to be set straight in order to respect the culture, language and traditional lifestyles of the Indigenous ancestors who existed long before Columbus’ voyage.”

Many American cities and states have already recognized Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day. Indigenous People’s Day was first declared a holiday in Boston last year, but it’s not celebrated officially statewide.

Organizers wrote that making Indigenous People’s day official statewide would raise awareness of, and hopefully ease, “the disproportionately higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and incarceration experienced by Native Americans, as well as the lack of sufficient federal funding for education and health care on reservations.”

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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