Chicago Public Schools will now celebrate Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools will now call Columbus Day, Indigenous People's Day.

All but two members of the school board approved the calendar change, which is on the second Monday in October. The vote took place during a regular board meeting Wednesday morning in the Loop.

Board members Lucino Sotelo and Dwayne Truss dissented.

Indigenous People's Day is a nod to Native American people and their cultures.

Columbus Day celebrates the arrival of Christopher Columbus, in the Americas.

Some states and cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day, as more voices join the call in recognizing Columbus brought violence, disease and more to Native Americans.

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, based in west suburban Stone Park, issued a statement Thursday criticizing CPS' decision.

"This is a slap in the face of the more than 500-thousand Italian Americans in Chicago, and the 135-million Italian Americans worldwide," JCCIA President Sergio Giangrande said in the written statement. "The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is challenging CPS's decision and has mounted a campaign to reverse this action. There are many historical figures whose past actions have come under scrutiny in recent times. For Italian Americans, who endured horrific discrimination and continue to be the subject of stereotypical degradation in popular culture, Christopher Columbus is a symbol for the resilience of a people that have helped shape the cultural landscape of this great nation. The historical legacy of any individual is and should be subject to debate. That debate should not give license to the wholesale removal of a symbol indemnity that was a beacon of hope for millions of maligned Italians who helped create the beauty of this country."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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