Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day? Brands Decide

Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus could use a new PR campaign.

Far from the elementary school stories of the famous explorer discovering the New World, many Americans are conflicted supporting Columbus Day after learning about the suppression of Native American peoples. 

79 percent of students surveyed support replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day, according to a new poll from College Pulse, a data and survey analytics company.

Brands and organizations seem to be acknowledging this trend and embracing Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor the tribes that populated the frontier of America.

We looked at campaigns acknowledging both holidays today, and some taking the next step and promising action to support Native Americans. 

Pro-Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Never one to be a shrinking violet, the ACLU led the charge to promote a blunt message regarding its stance on Indigenous People’s Day.

The Writers’ Guild of America West took the day to debut a letter, written by the members of WGAW’s Native American & Indigenous Writers Committee (NAIWC), to address Hollywood’s lack of equitable representation and pervasive misrepresentation of Native American & Indigenous Peoples.

The Texas Observer took the day to announce a newsroom initiative promoting more coverage of the Native American community—the introduction of the Indigenous Affairs desk.

Patagonia, known for its work with the environmental community, produced and shared a video of The Gwich’in tribe, who have been fighting for decades to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Even Vogue found a way to weigh in, featuring a fashionable take on the holiday, showcasing Indigenous brands.

Columbus Day Still Rings True—for Some

It’s definitely noticeable that many brands shied away from commenting on Columbus Day, what may now be deemed a controversial holiday, as campaigns were few and far between. 

The First Lady, Melania Trump, shared a White House proclamation about the greatness of Columbus Day. 

As many Italian-Americans see Columbus Day as an Italian holiday, the National Italian American Foundation shared history regarding the genesis of the celebration.  

The History Channel took the opportunity to teach a lesson about the arrival of Christopher Columbus, as well as the importance of Native Americans inhabited here. 

And for some, well, they chose to take the middle road, and let the public decide. This realtor decided to promote Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

Nicole Schuman is a reporter for PRNEWS. Follow her @buffalogal