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Goodbye, Columbus? L.A. councilman wants to establish Indigenous Peoples Day

Goodbye, Columbus? L.A. councilman wants to establish Indigenous Peoples Day
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell wants to establish Indigenous Peoples Day in L.A. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Will Los Angeles say goodbye to Columbus Day and hello to Indigenous Peoples Day?

City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell introduced a motion Friday asking city staff to look at making Indigenous Peoples Day a legal holiday in Los Angeles. If the idea is ultimately approved, it could replace Columbus Day. That would put L.A. in the company of cities like Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Seattle and Minneapolis.

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"Los Angeles is the most culturally diverse city in the United States, and we must find a way to honor the profound sacrifices made by countless tribal members through the centuries," said O'Farrell, who is a member of the Wyandotte Native American tribe. "This is about righting one of the greatest slights that any ethnic group has ever had to endure."

The councilman's motion asks the city administrative officer to report back on establishing the holiday. It also requests the city's Human Relations Commission and Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission to report on the historical importance of creating such a holiday.

Declaring the day a holiday would give city employees a paid day off.

On Friday, the council celebrated American Indian Heritage Month. Throughout the year, the council also celebrates months dedicated to the Latino, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

For more news on California, follow @TheCityMaven

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