Chief Red Wing Day to replace Columbus Day
RED WING - Red Wing will honor its namesake and Native American heritage on the day federally dedicated to Christopher Columbus, the Red Wing City Council voted Monday.
The council agreed -- with four members voting yes, two voting present and one absent -- to redesignate Columbus Day in the city as Chief Red Wing Day and to promote more education about the area’s earliest residents.
Council President Lisa Bayley noted the city of Red Wing doesn’t close on Columbus Day -- the second Monday in October -- and doesn’t have the authority to change or eliminate a federal holiday, so the move would be symbolic.
Still, she said it is important.
“There are a lot of things we do that are symbolic,” Bayley said. “And we do it because symbols matter.”
The Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council submitted a letter supporting the change, suggesting Chief Red Wing Day over other considerations such as First Peoples Day.
Minneapolis made a similar move last week, voting to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Columbus Day. Both holidays will be recognized.