The second Monday in October will now be celebrated differently in Eau Claire.
The Eau Claire City Council passed a resolution Tuesday making the second Monday in October “Indigenous Peoples' Day”, but some believe what was passed is too watered down after two amendments to the resolution were passed. The amended resolution excluded these four mentions of Christopher Columbus:
WHEREAS, Columbus Day has been celebrated unofficially since the early 18th century, and was officially made a Federal Holiday in 1937 to be celebrated on the second Monday of October; and
WHEREAS, the day commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492; and
WHEREAS, journal entries from Columbus show his desire to enslave the Indigenous populations of the Caribbean, and he imprisoned and transported many hundreds of people to this end; and
WHEREAS, Columbus’ colonization of North America led to the genocide of the original inhabitants of this land and the decimation of their culture...
Council members had a lengthy discussion before voting to amend the original document. Those who voted in favor of the amendments called the language divisive, and said it did not represent the resolution's inclusive spirit. Those who supported the original document called the night bittersweet.
“To me what those amendments say, that they took out many of the important parts of the history of what's happened historically with Columbus Day. That it's a celebration of what is symbolically genocide and a lot of violence toward indigenous people here in our country,” council woman Catherine Emmanuelle told News 18.
Emmanuelle went on to say atrocities can't just be swept under the rug. The only way things will get better is if we acknowledge them fully. The resolution will go into effect immediately.