We are told that education creates pathways to the future. That being said, how we are educated is dependent on who controls our what is or is not taught.
Depending on where one lives within the United States determines if one and/or both holidays are listed on the calendar.
The purpose of both Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day is to honor and educate about the histories of both Italian Americans and Native Americans. But while Columbus Day has been part of our culture for generations, it’s Native American counterpart is relatively new.
The issue is that while we celebrate the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus, we are discarding the true history of the period. The New World, as it was known then by Europeans, was not empty. Nor was it waiting to be discovered. There were hundreds, if not thousands of Native American nations who lived and thrived on American soil long before Columbus “found” this land.
The “founding” of America by Columbus was the catalyst for colonization and the destruction of the Native American way of life.
The question is, how do we reconcile the truth of the past? The easy answer is nationalize Indigenous People’s Day as a holiday. But like many things that appear to be easy, the reality is that it difficult and complicated, especially in our current political climate. The truth is that I don’t have an answer.
But I do know that is time to give our Native American brothers and sisters the respect and the history they deserve.