Columbus Day has become more controversial, with some arguing that the Italian explorer represents violence suffered by native people when the Americas were colonized. Carbondale will join other cities and states in celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.
The proposal to declare the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples’ Day was brought to town council by residents Rita Marsh and John Hoffmann. At a meeting last week, Hoffmann said the move honors the contributions of Native Americans.
"I think it's an important, tiny move for us to honor our past in this way," he said.
The town’s trustees were unanimous in their support of the change. They did stop short of including language encouraging Carbondale’s public schools to teach indigenous peoples’ history. Trustee Ben Bohmfalk noted that it was already part of the curriculum.
The city of Aspen passed a similar resolution in 2017.