SUPERIOR, WI — Monday is federally recognized as Columbus Day.
States and communities around the country are joining the movement to rename it, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, including Duluth and Superior.
Both cities hosted celebrations in honor of the day on Monday.
Superior Mayor Jim Paine signed a proclamation earlier this year changing the name from Columbus Day.
This is the third year he has done that.
The event on Monday took place at the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS).
After a special ceremony, a Native American dance group performed.
A UWS spokesperson said they are proud to host this event both acknowledging our nation’s history and honoring Indigenous people.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is just really important just to acknowledge the heritage of the people that were here before us and the land that we sit on,” said Kayla Deitzmann, a Superior resident. “I am really happy that Superior and the state of Wisconsin have now acknowledged Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Meanwhile, in Duluth, hand drummers kicked off the celebration Monday.
Speakers included the mayor and members of local tribal nations.
One woman we spoke to said changing the name recognizes the contributions Native people have made to the community.
“I think it is important for us to recognize that history, American history, did not begin in 1492,” said Donna Patterson, an event attendee. “Definitely, Native American history did not begin in 1492.”
Organizers said the change also recognizes that Native Americans lived here before Columbus is credited with discovering the Americas and his landing triggered the genocide of Native people.