Billings Council Hears Petition to Change Columbus Day
In a movement that has taken hold in other cities, the Billings City Council heard a proposal to substitute Indigenous Peoples’ Day for Columbus Day, but took no action on the proposal during Tuesday’s business meeting. Former Councilman Ken Crouch said that Denver and Phoenix recently made the switch. He presented the council with a petition requesting that Billings follow suit.
Crouch made the same proposal last year while serving on the council, saying of the Native American community, every time they see Columbus Day celebrated, it is a disturbing reminder of what their ancestors experienced for hundreds of years and continue to experience. Dennis Ulvestad said he preferred to keep the holiday as Columbus Day, but turn it into a day of honest education and national mourning as the first day of 500 years of dehumanization, theft, war, genocide and even extinction for countless tribes, languages and cultures.