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West Lafayette will begin celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day starting this month

Council member Kathy Parker sponsored the resolution moving the city away from Columbus Day

The second Monday of October will be celebrated as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the city of West Lafayette starting this year. 

The city council passed a resolution Monday night replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, calling on other institutions -- such as local schools, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Tippecanoe County -- to recognize the day as well. 

City councilmember Kathy Parker said Christopher Columbus did not discover America, committed genocide against native people, and should not be celebrated with a day named after him. 

“I’m all in favor of historic preservation, but not when it comes to whitewashing history,” she said.

According to the resolution, the day will “be an opportunity to celebrate the cultures and values that Indigenous peoples of our region add to the communities of West Lafayette, throughout Indiana, and globally.”

The city will also begin adding land acknowledgements to its newsletters, website, and advertisements.

Land acknowledgements are generally used to recognize the original indigenous people who inhabited a region. 

West Lafayette joins at least two other Indiana cities - Bloomington and Indianapolis - in celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day.