Humanists of the Palouse, a secular alliance supporting cooperative humanity, supports a recent initiative by the Moscow Human Rights Commission for the City of Moscow, Idaho, to observe Monday, October 9, 2017 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in lieu of Columbus Day. This proposal will be brought to the City Council meeting on Monday, October 2, 2017. If passed, Moscow will be the first city in Idaho to do so.
Columbus Day is a state and federal holiday, which is not observed by the city of Moscow. It became a national holiday in 1937, fixed to the second Monday in October. Several states, including Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, South Dakota and Vermont do not recognize the holiday, instead recognizing an alternative holiday, such as Discoverer’s Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Christopher Columbus, the holiday’s namesake, has been widely and roundly criticized for his human-rights abuses toward the native Taino population of the Caribbean island Hispaniola. Observing Columbus Day lionizes a controversial figure, alienating the not insignificant indigenous population and its heritage.
“In keeping with our goals of inclusiveness and bettering humanity, Humanists of the Palouse supports this proposed change to Indiegenous Peoples’ Day,” said Jonathan Gradin, a local member. “The Palouse and surrounding areas in particular have a rich history of Native American culture, all of whom have suffered at the hands of colonialism. This alternative holiday observance is a start in acknowledging and moving forward from injustices of the past, toward a unified future for all Americans.”
Moscow residents are encouraged to sign the online petition. You can also contact the city council with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Humanists of the Palouse
The Humanists of the Palouse are a group of non-religious people: secular, humanist, agnostic and atheist, and more. Our mission is to advance our local community through rational thought and expanding knowledge. We aim to provide a safe space for non-religious people to come together to support each other, find common interests, friendship, and work together to make the world a better place for everyone.