Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas back on October 12, 1492. It is celebrated on the second Monday of October each year. This year, the celebration will happen on October 14.
For the indigenous people though, Columbus Day is not a day to celebrate.
The arrival of Columbus opened the doors which led to the mass murder and oppression of Native Americans. Celebrating Columbus Day is clearly not the best thing to do.
Thankfully, if you are in one of these cities and states, you won’t be celebrating Columbus Day, according to TIME’s list. Instead, you will be celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day or some other celebration in place of Columbus Day:
- South Dakota*
Cities & Counties
*Celebrates Native American Day.
**Celebrates both Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day.
What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday celebrated by an increasing number of cities and states in place of Columbus Day.
Instead of Christopher Columbus’ introduction of the Americas to the Europeans, Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates the Native Americans, the true first inhabitants of the continent.
Is the change unnecessary?
According to TIME, for the critics of Columbus’ Day, to retain the celebration is practically equivalent to celebrating mass genocide and colonization.
While some might argue that changing the name of the celebration is not really a huge matter to dwell upon, this can actually benefit us.
In the past, this celebration looks back at the atrocities which happened in the past. Now, this celebration is a reminder for all of us to pursue justice and uphold everyone’s human rights, regardless of their identity.
This is a celebration that will remind us that while our history is blood-ridden and in no way can there ever be atonement for all the lives lost, there remains a present to shape for the better.