Indigenous Peoples Day Replacing Columbus Day

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Indigenous Peoples Day Replacing Columbus Day

Mark Ralston

Mark Ralston

Mark Ralston

Sariah Williams, News Writer

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Columbus Day has recently been changed to Indigenous Peoples day due to many citizens finding the celebration of Columbus offensive and racist. Being a Native American in the United States this holiday is aggravating and horrific. This is due to the fact that we celebrate a man who murdered thousands of people, sold girls as young as 9 years old to sex slavery, came in and stole  Native American land, separated families, put the remaining people in small sections of land and many more. In the U.S., minors are being taught only snippets of the full story of this historic event making Columbus as a hero instead of a murderous sex trafficker.

Many schools in the United States have taught school children about Christopher Columbus and his “achievements” to the Americas. “While many schoolchildren learn about the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, less appealing details of Columbus’ journeys include the enslavement of Native Americans and the spread of deadly diseases.” Holly Yan wrote in “Across the US, more cities ditch Columbus Day to honor those who really discovered America,” on CNN. “Columbus didn’t know that his voyage would spread diseases across the continents, of course, but disease wasn’t the only problem “He also took slaves for display back home and to work in his conquered lands.” Yan wrote, on Columbus.

“The neighborhood wasn’t exactly empty when he arrived in 1492.” Katherine Shulten said in “Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous People’s Day” on The New York Times. Columbus wasn’t exactly the first person to arrive in the Americas. Other explorers arrived many years before he did. For instance, the Vikings arrived five hundred years before Columbus did, but allegedly Leif Eriksson was the first person.

Of course, there are some who believe this day should stand in its place, for example, our President. When celebrating his first Columbus Day as President he gave a proclamation surrounding Columbus Day, not mentioning Native Americans. “The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation,” Trump wrote in his speech.  “Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions — even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.”

Columbus day has a big effect on America and it is frustrating that in some states we still celebrate Columbus rather than the tribes that survived his wrath. Over the years schools have portrayed Columbus as a man who should be celebrated for discovering America, as if he had done little to no wrong, and not the horrible man he truly was. Of course, Columbus wasn’t here first, so why is he being celebrated for this “discovery” he didn’t make? Despite this fact, many traditionalists still want to celebrate Columbus day the way it’s always been. This holiday should no longer be about Columbus and now focus on the Native people who survived during this time, and celebrate them.

 

Yan, Holly. “Across the US, More Cities Ditch Columbus Day to Honor Those Who Really Discovered America.” CNN, Cable News Network, 8 Oct. 2018,  www.cnn.com/2018/10/08/us/columbus-day-vs-indigenous-peoples-day/index.html.

Schulten, Katherine. “Should Columbus Day Be Replaced With Indigenous Peoples Day?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/04/learning/should-columbus-day-be-replaced-with-indigenous-peoples-day.html.

Calfas, Jennifer. “Indigenous Peoples Day Replaces Columbus Day In 55 Cities.” Time, Time, 8 Oct. 2017, time.com/4968067/indigenous-peoples-day-columbus-day-cities/.

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