For decades, many Native people have been calling for an end to the public celebration of Christopher Columbus on the second Monday in October. They have also asked that Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to honor Indigenous Peoples from throughout the Americas, be declared on that same day because of the date’s significance. They consider it a first step toward recognizing the genocide of millions of Indigenous people and the theft of their lands that began with the arrival of Columbus.
Changing the holiday is an important step towards recognizing and correcting some of the countless wrongs committed against Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (what’s now known as the Americas). If we can’t even so much as celebrate the first peoples of this land, and not the person responsible for the largest genocide ever committed, then how can we expect good public policy or day to day treatment for Native Americans?
Photo taken by John Phelan, CC 3.0 License.