CITY HALL — Native Americans will get their revenge on Christopher Columbus in Chicago with Indigenous People's Day joining Columbus Day if a new proposal clears the City Council.
Aldermen Ameya Pawar (47th) and Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) submitted a proposal at Wednesday's Council meeting. If approved, it would mandate that "in conjunction with annual celebrations of Columbus Day on the second Monday in October, the City of Chicago shall celebrate Indigenous People's Day to commemorate and promote public awareness of the accomplishments and contributions of indigenous people."
The suburban-based Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans immediately embraced the proposal.
"This is just another example of how the City of Chicago stands head and shoulders above all other cities in celebrating different heritages," said Dominic DiFrisco, the group's president emeritus.
DiFrisco added that the proposal is true to "the spirit of the original Columbus Day celebration in New York City in 1892 when American Indians, Italian immigrants and people from all different ethnic groups marched in celebration of Christopher Columbus and his heroic achievements, and United States President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day a national holiday."
Columbus, of course, landed in what is now recognized as the Western Hemisphere on Oct. 12, 1492, and claimed to discover America, but just as obviously American tribes and civilizations can claim to have discovered America long before that.
The American Indian Center is located in Pawar's 47th Ward at 1630 W. Wilson Ave. Pawar is of Indian descent, but of course that's from the nation of India, not one of the American tribes Columbus labeled Indians in a mistake that endured for centuries.
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