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President Biden proclaims Monday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:22 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 8:01 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The second Monday of October has long been recognized as Columbus Day. But, for the first time this year, President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation recognizing the day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

A lot of what we knew of Christopher Columbus and celebrated was myth but now in recent history those myths have been put to rest and the violence and harm Columbus and other explorers brought about in the Americas has come to light.

It’s not just here in the United States, statues of Columbus have recently been taken down in other countries like Argentina and Colombia.

Sociology Professor at Georgia Southern, Ned Rinalducci says instead of focusing on celebrating Columbus himself, it is the perfect answer to instead recognize the people who experienced enslavement and oppression at the hands of Christopher Columbus and his successors.

“Because it is one day it becomes sort of a perfunctory gesture of let’s honor indigenous peoples but of course we need to be honoring indigenous peoples and understanding their history including their suffering but also their culture and contributions all year round because indigenous history is American history,” said Ned Rinalducci, an associate sociology professor at Georgia Southern.

While this is the first time Indigenous Peoples’ Day was recognized by the president, the federal holiday is still known as Columbus Day. As a reminder federal offices are closed on Monday, there will not be postal service and most banks will also be closed.

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