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Columbus Day Quarrel: Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day?

10 October 2017, 12:37 | Myrtle Vega

WLS A Christopher Columbus statue was vandalized in Arrigo Park on the Near West Side

Columbus statue

The first Columbus Day celebration recorded in the United States happened in NY in 1792 to honor Italian American heritage. At the time, Columbus served as a canvas for 19th-century ideas of individualism, Lane explained, a man of science who bucked authority as he ventured forth into the unknown.

Explaining the reasoning, Councilman Paul Lopez pointed to the Native American tribes of the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who used land on the site of what would eventually become the city.

A group is gathering tomorrow at Columbus Circle to celebrate the Onondaga Nation and other indigenous people around the world.

Gonzales says Columbus Day marks the beginning of a period of time in the calendar year that can be painful for and insensitive toward native communities.

Such re-evaluations don't change history, but they do change how we remember it.

The date Indigenous People's Day is held on varies slightly every year however and, in 2017, America's states and towns face a stark choice as both holidays fall on the same day.

So the Council should recognize Columbus Day and choose another day for the new holiday, perhaps the day before or after Columbus Day. The ravages laid upon the indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean by Columbus and his cohorts are well-documented, historical fact. It's not about Christopher Columbus, though we do celebrate him, but it's about our Italian heritage.

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"Revision is not the same as lying, which people think it is", Grossman said.

Obama also mentioned Native Americans in 2014, proclaiming, "we also recognize the suffering inflicted upon Native Americans and we recommit to strengthening tribal sovereignty and maintaining our strong ties".

"We'll be glad to honor Native American Day and to celebrate with them". Three states - Alaska, Minnesota and Vermont - have changed the holiday.

"You still have to deal with Columbus", he said.

"We gather during a teachable moment to discuss the ongoing impacts of that legacy and to commit ourselves to reversing them", the group said.

A 350-foot tall statue of one of Columbus' ships in Puerto Rico, though, survived Hurricane Maria two weeks ago - while most of the city sustained heavy damage. New plaques could put the brutal parts of Columbus' story in daylight for all to see. The monument of the Italian explorer was vandalized twice in September - once with pink nail polish and once with red paint.

"There are a lot of inaccuracies in our history", Green said.



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