Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a proclamation declaring today Indigenous Peoples Day, instead of Columbus Day.

It’s not an official change because legislation is needed to mark the end of Columbus Day in the state. Bills were introduced on Friday in the state Senate to make Whitmer’s wish the law.

Several Michigan cities have ended the Columbus Day tradition, such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Southfield, Ferndale, East Lansing and Alpena.

Portrait of Columbus

Across the country this bizarre, embarrassing national holiday seems to be on its way out. In 2019, we see unmistakable trends that indicate a national movement to shun any and all adulation for Christopher Columbus. The realization that the 15th Century explorer was responsible for murders, slavery, mass rape and the spread of deadly disease is finally setting in.

The new Indigenous Peoples Day label, attached to the second Monday in October, recognizes the native inhabitants of America and the Caribbean islands, victims of the brutality by Columbus and his crew, who inhabited the “New World” 14,000 years before 1492.

South Dakota was the first to axe Columbus Day, replacing it with “Native American Day” in 1989. Now, seven states are on board: Alaska and Oregon retracted the holiday two years ago and Vermont, Maine, New Mexico, and Washington, DC, have followed suit.

Since the movement to halt the salute to Columbus gathered momentum in 2013, about 100 cities have replaced the 80-year-old holiday with tributes to indigenous people.

And, just as hundreds of Confederate monuments and flags have been coming down across America, many statues or other displays that memorialize Columbus are also being toppled.


For those who refuse to believe the unvarnished truth about Columbus, check out the myth-busting essay on the quirky website The Oatmeal. It’s based on A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Lies My Teacher Told Me,
by James W. Loewen, both of which use primary sources such as eyewitness
accounts, journal entries, and letters from Christopher Columbus himself.The piece is also worth exploring because of its fascinating suggestion that Columbus Day should be replaced with Bartolome Day. No hints. Just read.