Opinion

Opinion: Indigenous People's Day deserves national recognition





Student calls on the U.S. to recognize Indigenous People's Day instead of Columbus Day:
Last month, a vote passed through the Minneapolis City Council asking for the recognition of Indigenous People’s Day on what is popularly known as Christopher Columbus Day. While Indigenous People’s Day is not a legal holiday, it will be officially recognized by the city and share the spotlight with Columbus Day.

In case you don’t remember from high school history class, Christopher Columbus was a highly-esteemed Italian explorer, the so-called discoverer of the New World and the first man to set foot on American soil. He initialized European colonization of the Americas, eventually resulting in the arrival of the first American settlers.

In 1934, the United States government declared Christopher Columbus Day a federal holiday in honor of his establishment of the Americas. Columbus officially landed on October 12, 1492, but Columbus Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October, when the government closes and students have a day off from school.

But what about the natives whom Columbus and the first colonists encountered in America? For generations before Columbus’ arrival, “Indians” thrived on “American” soil. But their memory and history were brushed aside as colonists arrived in the New World, an unsettled land full of opportunity (for Europeans).

Get the Story:
Katie Haggstrom: New indigenous people’s day challenges the status quo (The Manitou Messenger 5/13)

Related Stories:
Minnesota city replaces Columbus Day with Chief Red Wing Day (05/01)
Native Sun News: Minneapolis adopts Indigenous People's Day (5/1)
MPR: Minneapolis welcomes Indigenous People's Day 2014 (4/28)
Opinion: 5 reasons for Indigenous People's Day in Minneapolis (4/25)
Minneapolis city council to vote on Columbus Day change (4/21