‘It’s about time’: Teens’ push for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Portsmouth is back

  • Portsmouth High School members of the We Speak social justice group, from left, Aulia Castellano, Ruby Palen-Hackett, Arden Griffin, Natalie Devito and Harini Subramanian are calling on the city council to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous’ People Day. RICH BEAUCHESNE / Portsmouth Herald

Portsmouth Herald
Published: 5/18/2021 3:19:37 PM

Social justice-seeking high schoolers are again asking city councilors to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day permanently in place of Columbus Day.

The council is set to hold a public hearing Monday night, when members of We Speak, Portsmouth High School’s social justice club, will advocate for the change after first introducing it in the fall, said PHS junior and We Speak member Harini Subramanian.

“I’m hoping it’ll go pretty well. I feel like Portsmouth as a whole is a pretty forward-moving community and people have pretty modernized thinking. I don’t think there’d be any pushback,” she said.

Last October, the council unanimously voted to jointly recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day along with Columbus Day in 2020 just days before the holiday occurred. We Speak members advocated for switching the holiday and presented a petition that had garnered hundreds of signatures in support.

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