- By Native News Online Staff
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A statue of Christopher Columbus that stood outside City Hall in Columbus for almost 65 years was removed without incident by a crane on Wednesday morning.
Supporters credited Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther for the peaceful removal of the Columbus statue in the city that is also the state capital of Ohio. Working with the guidance of the Columbus Art Commission, McKay Lodge Art Conservation Laboratory and Smoot Construction, the statue was removed Wednesday morning.
"For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness,” Ginther said. “That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past."
The statue was removed by crane, placed on a flatbed truck and transported to a secure city facility for safekeeping.
The people of Genoa, Italy, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, gifted the 20-foot statue to the city in October 1955 during the annual Columbus Day holiday events.
The move to remove the statue comes in wake of a movement across the United States to remove statues that are deemed offensive.
Last month, a statue of Christopher Columbus was toppled outside the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul. In Virginia, a Columbus statue was taken down, set afire and thrown into a lake by protesters.
American Indians have worked for decades on changing the name of the Columbus Day national holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and pushed for removal of Columbus statues because Columbus is not a hero in Indian Country. The notion Columbus “discovered” America is offensive to American Indians.
The Columbus Art Commission was established by Columbus City Code and is responsible for the approval of all art purchased, commissioned or accepted as a gift by the City, as well as all art proposed for placement anywhere within the public right-of-way or on property owned or leased by the city of Columbus.
Columbus city officials say a participatory process will help determine how to best replace the statue and evaluate the diversity and inclusiveness of all public art, including other monuments, statues and art installations, and the artists, identifying the seal and flag, and to make recommendations for change.
More Stories Like ThisBiden Affirms Commitment to Tribal Nations, Announces New Initiatives at White House Tribal Nations Summit
PHOTOS: The White House Tribal Nations Summit
WATCH: The White House Tribal Nations Summit
Tribal Leaders to Attend First In-person White House Tribal Nations Summit in Six Years
Tribal Business News Round Up: Nov. 28
You’re reading the first draft of history.
November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:
- Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
- Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.
- Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country. We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.
We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.
Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.