Grand Traverse Band Says "Goodbye" to Columbus Day

By: Levi Rickert

PESHAWBESTOWN, MICHIGAN — The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Tribal Council has passed a resolution recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day. The Band is encouraging other local municipalities t

o also adopt the resolution and drop Columbus Day, officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day instead.

This action comes as Idle No More Michigan prepares to go to elected council members of Traverse City to request a same type of resolution to drop the Columbus Day name in any official capacity.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is a federally recognized tribe located Michigan 16 miles north of Traverse City.

Abolish ColumbusThe resolution passed by the Grand Traverse Band notes that in 1990, representatives from 120 Indigenous nations unanimously supported transforming “Columbus Day into an opportunity to educate the rest of the country about pre-existing Indian cultures that have survived an often violent colonization process and continue to exist and thrive in present day America.” Since then, communities across the U.S. including Seattle, Berkeley and Minneapolis have voted to rename Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Grand Traverse Band says it “desires to continue its strong and productive relationship with fellow governmental bodies” and envisions Indigenous Peoples Day to be an occasion to “reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that…Indigenous peoples add to communities throughout and beyond the Grand Traverse Region.”