Bemidji Could Move Columbus To History's Trash Heap - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bemidji Could Move Columbus To History's Trash Heap

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  A movement is underway in Minnesota that could throw the name of Christopher Columbus into the trash heap of history.

  On Friday, The Minneapolis City Council voted to use “Indigenous Peoples Day”, instead of “Columbus Day”.  This week, the city of Red Wing named it, “Chief Red Wing Day”.  Now, Bemidji is also considering changing “Columbus Day” to a day recognizing American Indians.

  If Christopher Columbus sailed into Bemidji today, he’d quickly find some mixed, and sometimes heated reaction regarding the possibility of changing the name of Columbus Day here… to a name recognizing American Indians.

Woman: “Give me a break.”

Woman: “If they want to have a day for the American Indian then damn it, give them a day. Don’t take away what we’ve got.”

Woman: “I think it’s ridiculous. This is all going just too damn far.”

Man: “I’d rather keep it Columbus Day.”

Man: “Just because somebody does it some other place doesn't’t mean we gotta do it.”

Man: “Have an Indigenous Day or Chief Bemidji Day in Bemidji would be a good move.”

  One member of group looking at changing the name points out that history shows Columbus wasn't such a great guy and that the Indian people were here long before Columbus.

Michael Meuers, “Shared Vision”: “There was a genocide that went on, the English did it as well. I don’t think Columbus is anything special. According to Native Americans, he got lost on his way to India. There wasn't anything special about what he did. They were already here.”

  “Shared Vision”, the Bemidji Council on race relations will take their recommendation regarding changing Columbus Day… here to City Hall, where Mayor Rita Albrecht says, she’ll support it.

Rita Albrecht, Bemidji Mayor: “Well, I don’t think we’re throwing away Columbus Day. I think we’re just acknowledging that there’s a different perspective than perhaps what we learned in school.”

  More than 500 years after the fact, the name of Christopher Columbus could truly fade into history here in Bemidji, Minnesota.
  The Bemidji group “Shared Vision” is expected to recommend a new name for “Columbus Day” to the City Council, later next month.

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