Brandeis recognizes Indigenous Peoples' Day

The University Advisory Council has adopted a student-led resolution to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the academic calendar. The renaming was supported by faculty at the October 7 Faculty Meeting, after the Faculty Senate voted to recommend the resolution.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated by a growing number of municipalities and universities across the United States. Proponents of the holiday have urged its adoption to recognize the millions of Native Americans who already lived in the Americas when Columbus arrived, instead of celebrating the explorer, whose arrival led to centuries of oppression for native people.

Former Brandeis University Student Union Senator-at-Large Lorenzo Finamore ’18 submitted the resolution, which was passed by the Student Union on March 21, 2016.

“The legacy of Christopher Columbus is one of imperialism, genocide, torture, enslavement and long-term systematic injustices which conflict with Brandeis University’s core principles of social justice,” the resolution reads. “The Brandeis University campus would benefit from engaging in a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ culture and history.”

The University Advisory Council unanimously approved the resolution on September 22, 2016 upon receiving the resolution from the Student Union. In the interest of enabling faculty to be heard on the proposal, the UAC made its vote contingent on the support of the faculty at the October 7 meeting.

According to the university registrar, the name change will be made immediately on the academic calendar.

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