What to Know
- The LA City Council voted to eliminate Columbus Day as an official city holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day
- Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day an important step to 'eliminate the false narrative'
- The National Christopher Columbus Association called for the city to keep Columbus Day
The Black Eyed Peas and Native American rock group Redbone will perform Monday at the grand finale concert for the first celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles.
The bands are the headlining acts of the concert in Grand Park to celebrate a day designated last year by the Los Angeles City Council, which voted to eliminate Columbus Day as an official city holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday in October. The day is meant to recognize that Native Americans were the first inhabitants of land that later became the United States.
"Our people finally have space to honor our ancestors and celebrate our heritage," said Jamie Luis Gomez, who goes by the stage name Taboo with the Black Eyed Peas and is of Shoshone and Hopi heritage. "It's an honor to lend the group's support of this historic occasion for Los Angeles, and I want to thank Pat Vegas of Redbone for the opportunity to collaborate on the event."
Columbus Day has long been a divisive holiday due to some historians' conclusion that he committed acts of brutality on the native people he encountered and was involved in slave trading. The National Christopher Columbus Association called for the city to keep Columbus Day, insisting he was not responsible for the genocide committed by the Europeans who followed him.
Councilman Mitch O'Farrell called replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day an important step to "eliminate the false narrative that Christopher Columbus discovered America. " O'Farrell is a member of the Wyandotte Nation who led the effort on the City Council to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.
The inaugural holiday will feature a number of events in downtown's Civic Center, including a sunrise ceremony, 5K run, parade of nations, Native American powwow, panel sessions, a fashion show and live music at Grand Park, where there is a statue of Christopher Columbus.
O'Farrell said he is working on removing it.
"Out of public view, for that statue, is where it's at," he said.
The event is being billed as one of the largest Indigenous Peoples Day events in the country. In 2009, then-Gov. Arnold Scharwzenegger eliminated Columbus Day as a state holiday as part of a budget-cut measure.
In December 1994, the United Nations declared that the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples be observed annually on Aug. 9.
"This event will celebrate unity and love within our community of Los Angeles and I can't wait to share this message alongside the Black Eyed Peas," said Pat Vegas of Redbone, who will be joined on stage by his son PJ Vegas. "We can't wait to keep the message of `love and music' alive on stage on Oct. 8."
Due to the 5K run, the following streets will be closed to cars from 7 a.m. ot 10 a.m.
- 1st Street between Grand Avenue & Los Angeles Street
- Temple Street between Grand Avenue & Los Angeles Street
- Hill Street between 2nd Street & Cesar Chavez Avenue
- Broadway between 2nd Street & Aliso Street
- Spring Street between 2nd Street & Aliso Street
- Main Street between 2nd Street & Aliso Street