Name changes have gone too far

First UND had to change its' Fighting Sioux nickname. Then the City of Fargo was approached, and will vote soon, on changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. And a couple days ago, several groups came forward, asking that the historic nat...

First UND had to change its’ Fighting Sioux nickname. Then the City of Fargo was approached, and will vote soon, on changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. And a couple days ago, several groups came forward, asking that the historic national monument Devils Tower be renamed.


Have we really gotten so politically correct that we need to rename national monuments and holidays that have been recognized for at least 100 years?

There’s really no need to rehash the Fighting Sioux issue. That’s been ongoing and in the news for longer than we can remember.

The latest to hit the local news is a possible vote by the Fargo City Commission to change the second Monday of October to Indigenous People’s Day instead of Columbus Day.


The Fargo Native American Commission, which has already unanimously approved a resolution to change the name of the holiday, says that it would clarify Columbus’ role in history and present both sides of the story, according to KFGO.

Fargo is not the first city in America to adopt the change. And Moorhead has already rejected Columbus Day and established Oct. 12 as “Cultural Diversity Day” in 1993, according to The Forum.

We are all about cultural diversity and honoring all people, but why not just add a holiday or recognize a different day rather than changing a piece of history 100 years later.

Is changing the name of a day really going to change history and what has happened in the past?

Regardless of cities’ change of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day or Cultural Diversity Day, Columbus Day remains a federal holiday. So why not just proclaim another day to celebrate within the individual cities?

Columbus Day, while it may be a national holiday meaning some governmental agencies are closed, isn’t recognized by most private businesses and entities.

Before Columbus Day last year, Native American Commission members said they wanted a new holiday on what is observed as Columbus Day because it would be a learning opportunity for non-native people who might not know the complete story of Columbus and the atrocities he committed.

We understand that, but why not propose and celebrate a new holiday that celebrates Native Americans? We could add a new piece to history rather than trying to change it.


According to The Forum, Fargo city commissioners have already rejected an attempt to do away with city recognition of Columbus Day, voting it down in 1993, taking the opposite route Moorhead city leaders did.

Fargo commission meets Sept. 28 for the next vote.

And most recently, Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Great Sioux Nation, is spearheading an effort to change the name of Wyoming’s Devils Tower national monument.

The rock formation was named in 1906, and according to the National Park Service, it was named Devils Tower based on a mistranslation of its Indian title. An interpreter with an 1875 expedition by a U.S. Army colonel told him the term meant “Bad God’s Tower,” later shortened to Devils Tower.

Looking Horse says that the Devils Tower name is negative and insinuates that Native Americans worshiped the devil. A change in name, he told Reuters, would restore dignity and honor to an area the tribes consider a sacred place of power.

He has asked that the monument be renamed Bear Lodge, after a nearby national forest. Wyoming politicians have opposed the request, and last week, the state’s congressional delegation floated a bill that would block a name change.

According to Reuters, Wyoming tourism officials say Devils Tower is important to the state’s branding campaigns, and they have worked hard over the years to make sure the state’s assets are easily recognizable to domestic and international audiences.

Is all this renaming going a little too far? We think so.


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