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Oct 09 2017
by Melissa Cordell

These Colleges are Choosing not to Celebrate Columbus Day

By Melissa Cordell - Oct 09 2017

Most of Generation Z was brought up celebrating Columbus Day in school, not fully understanding the true history behind it due to misinformed textbooks and teachers. Today, though, many in Generation Z are rejecting the holiday and opting for a rebranding, Indigenous Peoples' Day. This holiday celebrates the lives of Indigenous and Native American peoples instead of celebrating their genocide after Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. Some schools across the country have officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day, as well. 

Brown University

In 2009, Brown University renamed Columbus Day to Fall Holiday. In 2016 it was again renamed to Indigenous Peoples' Day. 

University of California at Berkeley 

UC Berkeley doesn't list either holiday on their academic calendar, but the city of Berkeley has been celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day since 1992.

Cornell University

Cornell replaced Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2016

Harvard University

Harvard changed their academic calendar this year to show Indigenous Peoples' Day alongside Columbus Day after the city of Cambridge changed the holiday. 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

While UNC-Chapel Hill has not made an official statement on the holiday, they do not have Columbus Day listed on their academic calendar and students take part in Indigenous Peoples' Day events. 

University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma declared Indigenous Peoples' Day official and to be on the academic calendar in 2015

Syracuse University

Syracuse declared an official Indigenous Peoples' Day on their campus just this year

University of Utah

The University of Utah replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2016

This year we hope to see many more colleges and universities join in on the movement. 

Lead Image Credit: Langara College via Flickr Creative Commons

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Melissa Cordell - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Melissa Cordell is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Political Science and Peace, War & Defense, with a Women's Studies minor. She loves working on campaigns, activism and writing. Follow her on Instagram @meldelissacor and Twitter @MM_Cordell!

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