Cuomo: NYC Should Not Drop Columbus Day

May 5, 2021

Governor Cuomo: “When it comes to appreciating and respecting indigenous people, I agree 100 percent. When you look at what has happened to the indigenous people in this country, it’s a shame. They deserve much more than a holiday. I would support a holiday. They deserve more than a holiday. When I was HUD secretary, one of the things HUD did was provided housing on Native American reservations. And I visited dozens of them. You know, the poorest places in the United States of America are Native American reservations. I spent time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 75 percent, unemployment, fetal alcohol syndrome. Some of the worst conditions. What we did to the Native Americans, we gave them reservations. You know, what the reservations were? The land that nobody else wanted. We took what we wanted and the unusable land, the less valuable land, that became reservations. And I’ve seen it firsthand all across the country. I have tremendous respect for the Native American people and the Native American culture.”

Cuomo: “I’ve done a lot of work with the Native American community. I support an indigenous people’s holiday. But, I also support Columbus Day. And you can have an indigenous people’s day without intruding on Columbus Day. And that is the spirit of New York. Columbus Day is a day where we celebrate the Italian-American contribution to this state. And by the way, it’s not either, or. We’re not drawing lines and dividing. We’re trying to do the opposite. We’re the collective. We celebrate all. We celebrate the Jewish contribution, Salute to Israel. Let’s have a Greek parade. Let’s have an Italian parade. Let’s have an Asian American parade. Celebrate everyone. You don’t have to exclude Italians to celebrate indigenous people. And why would you want to?”