High school drops Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples' Day

Student council votes to turn Columbus Day into Indigenous Peoples' Day at Plenty Coups High School in Pryor Monday.

At Plenty Coups High School, the students, staff, and faculty have officially declared the second Monday of October each year to be considered as "Indigenous Peoples' Day!"

The school gathered inside the gymnasium to witness history in the making. Ben Pease is an artist who first brought the idea of observing Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' day to Plenty Coups High. He said he had to go through Montana State University and the Bozeman city council first, to present the idea, a process that hasn't been easy.

"It's not about a dis-recognition of a people or a culture," Ben Pease said. "It's about a recognition of the beauties from each culture, from every culture."

President of the student council, Julian Glenn, explained how his classmates should celebrate this special day.

"We should celebrate loving each other, I guess," Glenn said. "Just, peace."

"Bringing Indigenous People's Day to a predominantly Native school is important because this is part of our history," Ben Pease said. "Recognizing that histories in the school books aren't always accurate."

Superintendent Linda Pease is proud of her students at Plenty Coups High School. She said she hopes next year's celebration of Indigenous People's Day will be bigger.

"It'd be important to bring in speakers from other indigenous cultures and to understand the indigenous populations of the whole world," Pease said.

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