Editorial: Genocide and slavery are the realities of our history

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan celebrated its annual powwow in July. Photo by Natalie Shattuck / Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Observer, September 2014

The Saginaw Chippewa Tribe will share the truth about Christopher Columbus on Indigenous People's Day:
The story of America’s foundation has been written and rewritten several times over. The complete truth about the travels of Columbus is lost to time and translation. However, we must acknowledge and respect that there are two sides to every story, and by and large, our nation has chooses to focus on the positive.

Curriculums in American schools provide students with a very sanitized image of Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. When detailing the account, history books romanticize Columbus’s adventures and shape him into a flawless hero.

Ignored are the brutal realities of imperialization. Bloodshed tarnishes the image of the man we so desperately want to idolize, the discoverer of our land, Columbus.

At the same time, Columbus was a courageous, skillful voyager who spearheaded an expedition that laid the framework for our future.

Realizing the imperfections of our nation’s founding should not necessarily impel us into identity crisis. Genocide and slavery are unfortunate realities of our history. We are happy that they are history and no longer a part of reality. While Oct. 13 commemorates the discovery of our country, the real cause for celebration is recognizing how far we have come as a society since stepping foot on this land.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Deciphering the Discovery (Central Michigan Life 10/13)

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