By Leeanne Root
Columbus Day in the United States is celebrated Oct. 12, and has been a U.S. federal government holiday since 1934. The holiday was established through long term lobbying efforts from the Italian-American community and the Knights of Columbus, a Christian society.
It will probably be impossible to abolish Columbus Day as a federal holiday, but the BIA has a unique relation to American Indians that includes fostering political and cultural development and relations with the U.S. federal government. Justifications could and should be made to the president to withdraw the BIA’s obligation to celebrate Columbus Day. Renaming the holiday to American Indian Day or something similar may remind many Native people about the day when the harsh treatment of indigenous people began.