Despite opposition from Italian-Americans, the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day — advancing a nationwide movement to cease honoring the Genoa explorer and instead the victims of colonization.
The Board of Supervisors voted 10 to 1 to amend the administrative code “to declare the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples Day.”
The legislation was introduced by Supervisor Malia Cohen as part of a nationwide movement by Native American activists to do away with the federal holiday, which began in 1937. They argue it is wrong to celebrate a day named after the white Italian explorer since the land he discovered was already inhabited, and it marked the start of colonization that decimated their ancestors.
Italian-Americans, who have long celebrated their heritage on that day, opposed the legislation.
The Italian Athletic Club, the Italian Cathedral of the West, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, the sponsors of the Italian American Heritage Parade and Italian Community Services were excluded from the process until representatives of these groups were first phoned by the San Francisco Examiner.