Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


L.A. City Councilman Wants To Establish 'Indigenous People's Day'

Councilman Mitch O'Farrell at the Hollyhock House in February. (Photo via Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

If City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell has his way, Los Angeles could be officially celebrating indigenous peoples in lieu of Christopher Columbus.On Friday, the L.A. Times reports that O'Farrell—a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe—introduced a motion that asks city staff to look into making Indigenous People's Day a legal holiday in Los Angeles, which could possibly replace Columbus Day altogether. The motion also requests that the city's Human Relations Commission and Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission compile a report on the historical importance of creating such a holiday. Sounds like this would be helpful information for Adam Sandler.

If Indigenous People's Day is adopted in Los Angeles, the city would join places like Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Seattle, Denver, and Minneapolis as American cities that have stopped observing Columbus Day, and replaced it with a more honorable celebration and recognition of Native Americans.

According to City News Service, O'Farrell said that he grew up being taught that Columbus was a “great man.” But it's now widely accepted that "great man" is not exactly the best way to describe the explorer that "discovered" America back in the olden times. O'Farrell said that his desire to establish Indigenous People's Day "is based on the folly of celebrating a man who brought nothing but catastrophe for native peoples when he first arrived in the new world."

But despite his harsh criticism of Columbus Day, O'Farrell wouldn't say if Columbus Day would be totally abolished to make way for Indigenous People's Day.

Support for LAist comes from

"Los Angeles is the most culturally diverse city in the United States, and we must find a way to honor the profound sacrifices made by countless tribal members through the centuries," said O'Farrell."This is about righting one of the greatest slights that any ethnic group has ever had to endure."

But not all of O’Farrell’s colleagues are on board. Italian-American Councilman Joe Buscaino released a statement, saying that for families like his, “who immigrated to the United States, Columbus Day celebrates a commitment to cross an ocean and a border and start a new life in the new world.”