Indigenous People’s Day celebrated over Columbus Day in some Massachusetts communities

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(WWLP) – The second Monday in October is nationally known as Columbus Day. It commemorates Italian explorer Christopher Columbus landing in the Bahamas in 1492, and discovering what is now the Americas. 

“It’s a day to celebrate him, to celebrate the United States because without him we would never have this great country, and to celebrate the exchange of ideas and cultures,” said Dario Gagliano of West Springfield. “For a lot of Italians, especially here in America, it reminds us of the journey we had to make.”

There’s a statue of Columbus on Main Street in Springfield’s South End, but not all cities in Massachusetts are celebrating this man.

Amherst, Somerville, and Brookline all celebrate the day as Indigenous Peoples Day, rather than Columbus Day. Organizers of this movement said it’s a way to recognize to the genocide of millions of Indigenous people and the theft of their lands that they said began with the arrival of Columbus. 

In Holyoke on Monday night, a candlelight vigil will be held in remembrance of the people of the Taino tribe that died during colonization. 

“That’s definitely good, that will bring the community closer together actually,” said Tyree Timmons of Springfield.

That vigil will be on Main Street from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 

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