And if doing so brings enough dishonor, Blackmon said, it's OK to stop celebrating them. "It is a history that we must recognize as we seek to build a brighter future - side by side and with cooperation and mutual respect".
Columbus Day is celebrated not only by the United States, but also Spain, which supported the Columbus expedition, Italy, Colombia (named for Christopher Columbus), several other South American nations, and some Caribbean islands.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a federal holiday in 1937 following a lobbying campaign by the Knights of Columbus.
Rather than commemorating the explorer Christopher Columbus, who has come to be seen as a controversial figure in recent years, the new holiday focuses on the lives of the people he and other European explorers encountered in the New World.
Gonzales says embracing Indigenous Peoples Day helps people and communities recognize positive contributions of native people. In Portland, Oregon, school board officials chose to supplement Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day. I'm 58 years old now, so a long time.
Released by the White House this morning, the proclamation not only ignores the history of racial atrocities and injustices that are part and parcel of the founding of America but also raises the question of whether Trump remembers the story of how Columbus discovered the Americas in the first place.
The group Indigenous Peoples Day Massachusetts has a statewide campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with a day to honor native people from throughout the Americas.
One option is adding statues, said Alfred Brophy, a law professor at the University of Alabama who studies historical memory.
"That statue of Christopher Columbus stands here today as a testament to our immigrant tradition, and Italian-American tradition", state Sen.
Russo said Italian-Americans have as much right to celebrate their heritage as groups like American Indians have to protest Columbus Day.
"There are a lot of inaccuracies in our history", Green said.
Cliff Matias, the cultural director of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, which is hosting a "Re-Thinking Columbus Day" event through Monday in NY, defended the event and said it was not being held to take anything away from the Italian Americans.