Rethinking Columbus: The Case For Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Observing a holiday in honor of Christopher Columbus perpetuates and exploits ignorance. It hurts Native Americans by reinforcing our absence from our national consciousness and celebrating our genocide and it hurts non-Natives by reinforcing the arrival of a European as a more impressive story than the indigenous story of survival, stewardship and sovereignty.
Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip tribes)

Three years ago, the city of Austin (where I live) approved a resolution to recognize the second Monday of every October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Austin joined a growing coalition of states and municipalities seeking to shift focus away from Christopher Columbus and on to our country’s Native communities.

This is an example of what it means to interrogate our American mythologies.

As (what has traditionally been celebrated as) Columbus Day approaches, I’ve collected some resources that help explain why this shift is needed.


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*The website mentioned in the video is no longer live

BRILLIANT COMIC: Columbus Day from The Oatmeal

ARTICLE: How Columbus Sailed Into U.S. History, Thanks To Italians from NPR’s Code Switch

ARTICLE: Reconsider Columbus. Honor Indigenous People’s Day from The 562 Project

ARTICLE: Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Rethinking How We Celebrate American History from Smithsonian Magazine


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  • Sign or start a petition to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in your city or state
  • Gather educational resources to share with your kids’ teachers and other educators you know

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