Fort Lewis College has decided, after campaigning by students, to say goodbye to Columbus Day and hello to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The designation was approved by the Associated Students of Fort Lewis College and President Dene Thomas’ Cabinet. About one-third of the FLC student body is Native American.
Native American and Hispanic students at the college have created programming around the Real History of the Americas on Columbus Day for the last eight years.
The college is joining an ever-growing group of cities and organizations that have adopted the change.
It first occurred in Berkeley, California, and Denver; Seattle; Minneapolis; Albuquerque; St. Paul, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and the entire state of Alaska are among the other places that have elected to change from the federal designation to one honoring the peoples who called the continent home long before Columbus “discovered” it.
The first Indigenous Peoples’ Day at FLC will be celebrated Oct. 10, 2016.