Last week, the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s (WCCUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Moving forward, the district’s administration and schools will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October, the same day as Columbus Day.
WCCUSD joins dozens of cities and a number of states and universities to formally state that Native Americans were this land’s first inhabitants, and that Christopher Columbus’ voyages should be credited less with discovery than with colonization.
“Honoring Christopher Columbus, who did not contribute to science but inflicted lasting historical trauma to Indigenous People, sends the wrong message to our children,” according to the WCCUSD resolution. Local Native Americans and advocates praised the Board of Ed’s decision.
The full resolution is below. A history of Christopher Columbus’ explorations — which can be found here — confirms that in four voyages between 1492 and 1502, Columbus accidentally reached the Americas while trying to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia. During those trips, he landed in the Caribbean islands, Panama and the South American mainland.
“Though he did not really ‘discover’ the New World—millions of people already lived there—his journeys marked the beginning of centuries of transatlantic conquest and colonization,” according to the History.com account.