The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted 6-1-1 on Oct. 11 to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day rather than Christopher Columbus Day.
Supervisor Jeanine Lawson voted no, and Supervisor Yesli Vega abstained as she does on all such recognitions.
Lawson opposed the change, saying it’s led by people who want to “demonize western civilization” and “cancel culture.”
She didn’t like that the resolution said many have forgotten the tribes who were in North America when European settlement began and were decimated by colonization.
“I think that Americans by and large are very sensitive to that, very aware of it, and frankly I think this is … more cancel culture,” she said. “Christopher Columbus obviously is recognized as the explorer who landed here in the New World first.”
Scholars have generally accepted that Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, about 500 years before Columbus. Evidence of a settlement established in Newfoundland, Canada, was unearthed in the 1960s.