Indigenous Peoples Day

Hartford City Council Votes To Change ‘Columbus Day' to ‘Indigenous Peoples' Day'

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On Monday, Hartford City Council unanimously approved a resolution to change "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous Peoples' Day." The decision to rename the holiday, named after the Italian American came after a resolution to change the name was introduced last year.

The move comes after the city created a task force compromised of council members, community members, community partners and educators. The goal of the task force is to learn about Connecticut's history, indigenous people, what Indigenous Peoples' Day is, how it can be celebrated.

Councilmember Josh Michtom along with Councilwoman Wildaliz Bermudez introduced the resolution last year after debates in other cities and a call for change among those in the community.

"Our own history is one of colonization and violence as a city and as a state we should recognize this so that we can say that we're learning from those processes," said Michtom. "This is not an anti-Italian step, this is an anti-Columbus step and more importantly, it's a step toward recognizing what went wrong what was done badly and embracing a more humane way of treating one another."

Last year, like many cities around the country and state, the city of Hartford removed the Christopher Columbus statue in downtown which stood for nearly a century.

Francine Nido is a member of UNICO CT, an Italian American Service Organization, and tells NBC Connecticut she was not in favor of cities taking down Christopher Columbus statues and Hartford's latest decision to rename October 11.

"It's almost an anti-American sentiment because celebrating Columbus Day has nothing to do with not appreciating Indigenous people or native people," said Nido. "There's room to celebrate everyone here in Connecticut and in America and I believe Columbus Day does just that, it celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of all people."

The city task force is considering renaming Columbus Boulevard and Columbus Green.

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