This weekend, celebration of Indigenous People's Day will replace the federal holiday, Columbus Day, in at least eight states and over 130 cities in 34 states. Along with the toppling of Columbus statues and the removal of a racial slur as a name for a major football team, this signals a shifting awareness in the United States of our colonial roots and ongoing Indigenous genocide and a desire for change. If, like me, you are not indigenous, there are ways each of us can educate ourselves and those around us about the land we live on, to whom it belonged and how it was taken away from them.
Has your city recently abolished Columbus Day and adopted Indigenous Peoples Day? Are you looking for some ways to celebrate the holiday? While I am not usually in the business of educating folks on Native things (there are plenty of Native folks out here doing this work I am just not one of them) something about this day has me feeling generous. Lucky for you, I come from a gift-giving culture (you’re welcome). Here are some ideas: 1. Find out the name of the tribe(s) whose land you live on and then make sure all your friends and family know that name. Understand that while you did not personally colonize or commit genocide against an entire people you are the benefactor of those legacies of violence and displacement. Know those legacies.
Indigenous Peoples Day is increasingly being celebrated across the U.S. in place of Christopher Columbus Day, as the myth of Columbus as beneficent discoverer is debunked and as the critical role of indigenous people in protecting the planet becomes more recognized. Indigenous defenders of Mother Earth are often at the front lines of environmental destruction, confronting militarized state and corporate power against enormous odds, with courage and determination. Columbus arrived in the Bahamas 527 years ago, unleashing a brutal genocide that killed tens of millions of native people across the hemisphere. Now, as the sixth great extinction accelerates and the planet catastrophically heats up, it may well be indigenous peoples who save us all.
By Nican Tlaca for Daily Kos, October 12th is Columbus Day, a day which is increasingly coming under criticism for celebrating a genocidal pirate, murderer, rapist, and enslaver who is credited with the “discovery” of the Western Hemisphere. Most people today dismiss the notion that Columbus “discovered” a land that was already packed with 100 million people and 6,000 years of thriving civilizations (the earliest urban center with communal architecture is at Porvenir, Peru, dating back to 4930 B.C., according to Haas et al, 2004). The world that Europeans “encountered” (read: “invaded”) was not that of a barren wilderness, sparsely populated by nomadic tribes; but a continent filled with wealthy, urban civilizations and complex, sedentary farming cultures.
By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy.com. This week on Act Out!, why Indigenous People's Day matters: Decolonizing the mind, the power of language, ideas and shifting paradigms. Next up, there's an epidemic of horrendous proportions in this country – and yet you may not have heard about it. We talk about the recently introduced Savanna's Act and raising awareness for stolen sisters. Finally, we sit down again with Mohawk film maker Paulette Moore. Kahsto'sera'a Paulette Moore is a Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) filmmaker and educator currently collaborating with Free Speech TV to complete a series of films about the 2016/17 Standing Rock water protection actions. Her focus is to decolonize and Indigenize media arts in the context of Indigenous response to environmental extraction.
By William Francis Keegan for Red Green and Blue - In 1496, Columbus was the governor of a colony based at Santo Domingo, in what is now the modern Dominican Republic – a job he hated. He could not convince the other “colonists,” especially those with noble titles, to follow his leadership. They were not colonists in the traditional sense of the word. They had gone to the Indies to get rich quick. Because Columbus was unable to temper their lust, the Crown viewed him as an incompetent administrator. The colony was largely a social and economic failure. The wealth that Columbus promised the Spanish monarchs failed to materialize, and he made continuous requests for additional financial support, which the monarchs reluctantly provided. By 1500, conditions in Hispaniola were so dire that the Crown sent Francisco de Bobadilla to investigate. Bobadilla’s first sight, at the mouth of the Ozama River, was four Spanish “mutineers” hanging from gallows. Under authority from the king, Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his brothers for malfeasance and sent them to Spain in chains. Columbus waited seven months for an audience at the court. He refused to have his chains removed until the meeting, and even asked in his will to be buried with the chains.
By Bill Bigelow for Zinn Educate Project. There is nothing murky about Columbus’ legacy of slavery and terrorism in the Americas. The record is clear and overwhelming. The fact that The New York Times could report this with such confidence — adding that “most Americans learn rather innocently, in 1492 [Columbus] sailed the ocean blue until he discovered the New World” — means that educators and activists still have much work to do. In fact, Christopher Columbus launched the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1494, when he sent back at least two dozen enslaved Taínos, including children, to Spain. In February of that year, Columbus dispatched 12 of his 17 ships from the Caribbean back to Spain with a letter to be delivered to the king and queen by Antonio de Torres, captain of the returning fleet. Columbus wrote: There are being sent in these ships some Cannibals, men and women, boys and girls, which Your Highnesses can order placed in charge of persons from whom they may be able better to learn the language while being employed in forms of service, gradually ordering that greater care be given them than to other slaves.
By Sam Levin for The Guardian - Reno police are investigating reports of a pickup truck plowing into a group of Native American rights demonstrators after dramatic video emerged showing the vehicle’s occupants arguing with activists, revving the engine and then speeding into the crowd. Police chief Jason Soto said the 18-year-old male pickup driver and 17-year-old passenger contacted police three minutes after Monday evening’s incident beneath the famous arch with the Nevada city’s slogan, Biggest Little City in the World
By Laila Kearney for Reuters, NEW YORK, Oct 9 (Reuters) - About four miles from the world's largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land. The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend "powwow" on Randall's Island in New York's East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art. The Redhawk Native American Arts Council's powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.