Indigenous youth fight to replace Columbus Day in Chicago

Aug 03, 2019 386

BY: Michelle Zacarias

Native youth are taking a stand and calling for the replacement of the nationally-recognized Columbus Day celebration. Afro-Indigenous organizer Anthony Tamez-Pochel, alongside local elected officials, is heading up the effort for legislation establishing Indigenous People’s Day as a holiday in Chicago.

Tamez-Pochel (who is Cree and Lakota) has been doing community-based work as the co-president of the Chi-Nations Youth Council for several years. Last week, he drafted and submitted an ordinance to city council calling for the abolition of Columbus Day. In 2017, Illinois lawmakers passed a similar bill that placed Indigenous People’s Day in September, while simultaneously keeping Columbus Day in October. 

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