October 11 marked a historic turn of events as the first-ever Indigenous Peoples Day took center stage in Boston.
The move was powered by Acting Mayor Kim Janey with an executive order replacing Columbus Day with the Indigenous Peoples Day
“Janey said the city of Boston is committed to recognizing Indigenous history, celebrating cultures, strengthening relationships, and increasing dialogue with local tribes to foster support for the rights of Indigenous people.
“Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the rich cultural legacies of our Indigenous communities while also declaring Boston is ready to work with our neighbors to create a more just future,” Janey wrote in a statement. “With Boston’s long history comes an opportunity and obligation to acknowledge the difficult parts of our past and dedicate ourselves to fostering a more equitable City. “As mayor of Boston, I hereby declare the second Monday of each October Indigenous Peoples Day in the city of Boston,” she said. “Observing Indigenous Peoples Day is about replacing the colonial myths passed down from generation to generation with the true history of the land upon which our nation was founded.”
This comes on the heels of other municipalities in Massachusetts deciding to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. However, Columbus Day is still observed as a state and federal holiday.
“The atrocities that person committed was horrendous – to see this change is memorable,” said Chalinaru Dones, a supporter of Indigenous Peoples Day, according to Boston CBS Local. “It means the world to me; this is amazing – just the thought that I am alive to see this happen is huge in its own.”
Reports have it that the move in Boston drew both praise and criticism from others.
Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards shared her concerns on her Facebook page on Wednesday.
“I was elected to represent the largest Italian American community in the city,” Edwards wrote. “Today’s unilateral action by the acting mayor was a surprise to me and I don’t believe it encourages the honest, transparent, healing conversation we need.”
The next day Councilor Edwards, who represents Boston’s North End, apologized for her Facebook comments. She confirmed that she supports Indigenous Peoples Day. However, she does not agree with the way the “unilateral” decision was made,” Boston News reported