PHILADELPHIA - In Philadelphia, the Columbus Day holiday was celebrated in two differing ways Monday with two vastly divergent views of Christopher Columbus.
This was the first time Philadelphia has called Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples' Day. The change was made early in the year by Mayor Jim Kenney after social unrest in the region. Indigenous People’s Day was greeted in a Fishtown Park with dancing, song and traditional dress.
Tatanka Gibson, of the Nensemond Tribe of Virginia, called the event "a celebration of us as a people, our resilience, our strength everything that incorporates us as indigenous people."
Gibson danced in traditional dress in front of a crowd gathered in Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Handcrafted items were sold and families gathered in the park that runs along the Delaware River.
Across town in South Philadelphia, a statue of Christopher Columbus is boxed in plywood and remains at the center of a legal battle.
A small group of South Philadelphia residents stood near the statue this afternoon shouting support for Columbus to anyone who passed by.
Michael Panter said he wasn’t bothered by the box because he thinks it will be taken down soon. Panter told Fox 29’s Jeff Cole, he’s in Marconi Plaza to stop vandals.
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