Columbus Day no longer: Austin Council votes to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day

Austin City Council
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The Austin City Council has approved a resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city, and is expected to discuss Confederate monuments during its Thursday meeting.

Item 32 calls for the council to “Approve a resolution declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Austin.” The date has long been known as Columbus Day, but city and state governments have taken steps to recognize the day for those who were living in the Americas before Christopher Columbus’ expedition. The item's approval was announced by the city government shortly after 11 a.m. Oct. 5.

With the resolution's approval, the city will also encourage Austin schools “to include the teaching of Indigenous Peoples’ history.”

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Item 31 of the council’s agenda for Oct. 5 meeting states “Approve a resolution condemning the display of monuments and memorials of the Confederacy; and directing the City Manager to submit a report to the Council identifying City-owned monuments and memorials of the Confederacy located on City-owned property and discussing options to address them.”

A draft of the resolution states the city would not remove any statues or monuments with the resolution, rather the report would make “recommendations for disposition of artifacts of historic value, including preservation, storage, and maintenance for educational purposes.” If the item is approved, the city manager would have 90 days to submit their report to the council.

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