The second Monday in October has been designated an American federal holiday in Christopher Columbus’s honor since 1937. To most people in the United States, this commemoration of his 1492 landing in the Bahamas no longer has much meaning – many Americans outside of large Italian American communities are only dimly aware that it’s an official holiday.
I hated history in my K-12 education. Once I discovered why, I became furious. Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day, everyone!
I have heard the argument from Italo-USAn friends and relatives that Columbus Day is the Italians Day.
Fine, if that certain cultural group needs day name recognition, how about changing Columbus Day to Native Americans' Day or covering a favorite indigenous culture or nation from North Slope, Alaska to Terra del Fuego, Chile and giving the Italians' another day of distinction such as a Gramsci day - no, that wouldn't fly here in the capitalism loving, Good Old USofA - or a Garibaldi day, for the populist who spent three years here in exile in NY before he went back to Italy to free it from the yoke of the Spaniards, the French, the Hapsburgs, and the Papal State.
Keep the indigenous day as a work holiday since people tend to ignore the meaning behind the holiday if it is not a close down, take a break for a celebration kind of thing.
I personally would prefer a Hopi, Sioux, or Navajo Day.
If we want to honor Indigenous Peoples', I'd much rather we do something of substance for a full 365 days year, instead of a token gesture on one. A good place to start is to do a more honest and comprehensive job of educating students as to what the arrival of Columbus meant for indigenous people on this continent instead of whitewashing Columbus into the hero he was not.
I've posted it before but it is always appropriate on C day.
In 1492 the natives discovered they were Indians,
they discovered they lived in America,
they discovered they were naked,
they discovered there was sin,
they discovered they owed obedience to a king and queen
from another world and a god from some other heaven,
and this god invented guilt and clothing,
and had ordered burned alive all who worshipped the sun and
the moon and the earth and the rain that moistens it.
Children of the Days