Indigenous People’s Day Combats Columbus Day

Indigenous+People%27s+Day+Combats+Columbus+Day

Faith Patton

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is one of the overlooked holidays of the year. Often referred to as Native American Day or First Peoples’ Day, the occasion celebrates and honors the indigenous people of america and pays homage to their history, culture and influences. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October and all across the country.

Activism for Native American people have dramatically increased since the 1960’s and 1970’s. It began in 1989 South Dakota, marking the beginning of the “Year of Reconciliation.” It was established in Berkeley, California, in 1992 to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival upon the Americas. 

It started to get more recognition once more and more people started to reject the celebration of Columbus Day, often saying that it shouldn’t be celebrated at all. “Columbus Day is an outdated, over simplified version of history,” said Joe Curtatone, Mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, “We are proud of our heritage. Yet the specifics of the holiday run so deep into human suffering that we need to shift our pride elsewhere.”

Children in schools all over are taught, “in fourteen-hundred-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” But they fail to teach what happened to the indigenous people, and their cultures, and customs, and pushing them off their land, and forcing them to move west. Even some teachers are starting to question whether they should tell the real story, but are deciding that the gory truth should be left until the students are older. 

Indigenous People’s Day combats Columbus Day and gives the spotlight to the First People.