Texas Tribes Ask For State-Wide Change To Columbus Day

Alan Scaia
October 14, 2019 - 9:48 am
Native American Pow Wow

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Tribes in Texas say they have been meeting with Governor Greg Abbott's staff to ask for a state-wide change to abandon "Columbus Day" in favor of a holiday that honors the history of Native Americans.

"It doesn't matter if you're Republican or Democrat because the history goes beyond that," says the Lipan Apache Tribe's Leroy Pena. "Before there was anybody here, we had our ancestors here."

Last week, the Dallas City Council adopted a change to Monday's holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day. Pena says Dallas County had already adopted the change, along with cities including Austin, Corpus Christi and San Antonio.

Across the country, he says 144 states, cities, counties and school districts have adopted a similar change, including New Mexico and Oklahoma. Louisiana is marking Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time in 2019. 

"We're right in the middle, and we have just as big or a bigger presence than those states do," Pena says. "The governor recognizes the connection there."

In addition to Louisiana, four other states and Washington D.C. are marking the change for the first time this year.