NIAF Strongly Opposes D.C. City Council’s Emergency Action to Replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”


Natalie Wulderk

– NIAF Remains Committed to Supporting Both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day –

(Washington, D.C. – October 10, 2019) – The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) strongly opposes the District of Columbia City Council’s emergency action to replace Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in the District. NIAF remains committed to supporting both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day as their own separate holidays.

The City Council fast-tracked the legislation and voted in favor of changing the holiday in a 11-2 vote at its meeting on October 8. The passed emergency legislation is temporary; NIAF remains committed to opposing its permanent enactment.

The Foundation recognizes and thanks the two Councilmembers for their courage to reject this legislation and to support Columbus Day, a widely celebrated and historic holiday: Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Councilman Jack Evans.

NIAF calls upon Mayor Muriel Bowser to not sign the legislation and calls the other Councilmen to reconsider their position.

NIAF supports both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day, however, we believe that this is a false choice, one celebration to replace another is destructive and culturally insensitive, divisive and not in keeping with the spirit of an increasingly diverse America. NIAF remains a strong and vigorous advocate for the continuation of Columbus Day as a federal holiday.

The Foundation looks forward to participating in the Columbus Day event at Union Station, Monday, October 14.

To see NIAF’s position on the D.C. Council action, visit:

To read NIAF’s longstanding statement on Columbus Day, visit:

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit