Honoring Indigenous Peoples Day

Honoring+Indigenous+Peoples+Day

Honoring Indigenous People’s Day

     The second Monday of October is marked as Columbus Day on most calendars. In more recent years, many have pushed for a switch to Indigenous People’s Day, to recognize and celebrate individuals of this background instead of Columbus. Although many have embraced this push, it has had its fair share of controversy. 

  Columbus Day was originally meant to recognize Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of the Americas. Since the early nineties, the focus of this day has shifted to Indigenous Peoples after knowing the past brutalities that Europeans, such as Columbus, have put the Indigenous through. Therefore, many are speaking out to give people of Indigenous background an established day not only to mourn the past pains but to empower and take pride in their roots. 

    However, taking pride in one’s roots can lead to another stance. Those who stick with recognizing Columbus on October 11th are not necessarily anti-Indigenous but choose to take pride in Columbus’s Italian-American heritage. Some stemming from this community choose to stick with using Columbus as an Italian representative of victory, in addition to his legacy of exploration. After a gruesome New Orleans hanging of eleven Italian-Americans in 1891, this is a way to empower their population after past oppression. Not to mention the discrimination and struggle Italian American immigrants have faced after coming to America to flee poverty. 

  In contrast to this view, Arielle Eagle-Moore, a student at Grand Ledge High school and an individual with a native background give input on behalf of Indigenous Communities. “I feel that they [Italian-Americans] could just not include celebrating Columbus. If they want to celebrate their heritage, go ahead, that’s always a beautiful thing… but Columbus has always been harmful towards the Indigenous community” says Arielle.

    Without a doubt, it is enriching for all individuals to recognize their backgrounds. Even so, after this group’s past has been filled with cultural erasure and grief, the Indigenous community deserves a day of their own. 

    “It’s very important for native and even non-natives to learn and educate ourselves about Indigenous people. It’s so important because we don’t want to be forgotten… We want to remember our ancestors” Arielle adds. 

    No matter what day it is, the stories and voices of Indigenous people deserve to be heard. For those who want to know more about the history, culture, and its presence today, these sources will suffice the information needed. 

Small Businesses:

  • b.yellowtail (apparel)
  • Birch Bark Coffee Co.  
  • Skwalwen Botanicals (skincare)

Activists/Representation:

  • Radmilla Cody 
  • Michael Greyeyes
  • Mary Golda Ross

Books:

  • There There– Tommy Orange (Fiction)
  • New Poets of Native NationsHeid E. Erdrich
  • Braiding Sweetgrass- Robin Wall Kimmerer (Non-Fiction)

Misc: Grand Ledge High School’s Diversity Club, The Red Nation Podcast

 

Sources used: 

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/14/769083847/columbus-day-or-indigenous-peoples-day

https://www.michiganradio.org/news/2019-10-14/bon-voyage-christopher-columbus-bill-would-have-michigan-celebrate-indigenous-peoples-day

https://matadornetwork.com/read/indigenous-owned-businesses-can-support-today/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c0M01-NAgU

https://parade.com/1089776/jessicasager/what-is-indigenous-peoples-day/

https://www.history.com/news/the-grisly-story-of-americas-largest-lynching

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/05/us/columbus-day-italians-indigenous-peoples-day.html