Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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National
Natives changing perspective on 'Indian' holidays


Columbus Day and Thanksgiving are two holidays often associated with Indians but that doesn't necessarily mean they are embraced by Indians.

In some states, Columbus Day has been changed. In South Dakota, residents celebrate Native American Day. In North Dakota, the recently-created First Nations Day is held every October.

The movement has spread to other countries. Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez renamed the holiday the Day of Indian Resistance. According to The Christian Science Monitor, the day was marked by the removal of a statue of Columbus in the capital of Caracas.

Thanksgiving, though, isn't in any danger of being replaced. Many Americans carry romanticized notions of the first encounters between the Wampanoags in Massachusetts and the Pilgrims. What followed was a nearly complete destruction of most New England tribes through massacres, wars and disease.

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Evolving views of the holidays (The Christian Science Monitor 11/10)