Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day?

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The new session in the Kansas Legislature starts next week and lawmakers are already talking about one of this year's holidays.  Specifically, they're talking about what to call it.

The holiday in question is Columbus Day. Should it be called Indigenous Peoples Day instead?

Representatives Ponka-We Victors, (D) Wichita, and Dennis Highberger, (D) Lawrence, today pre-filed a bill making that change.

The move to re-name Columbus Day goes back to 1977's United Nations International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations.

According to the Smithsonian, naming the holiday for Christopher Columbus ignores what happened after his arrival, millions of native deaths, forced slavery, and cultural colonization across the Americas.

To date, six states have already re-named the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day.  South Dakota was the first in 1990, followed by Hawai'i, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Vermont. 

Dozens of cities have also made the change, including Lawrence and Wichita here in Kansas.

Of course, filing the bill is just the first step.  It could be months before we know if it goes anywhere.

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