Indigenous People’s Day
IVAN HOE STAFF WRITER
The month of October has some very prominent celebrations; for example, Halloween, where people can spend the night collecting sweets and dress up in their favorite costumes. Halloween gradually evolved from the sacred holiday All Saints Day, which was moved from earlier in the year to the first of November. However, not all of the holidays in October have an origin like Halloween, especially not Columbus Day. Unlike Halloween, Columbus Day not only has misinterpreted origins, but it also wrongly celebrates the injustice done to Native Americans. Therefore, more American cities should begin honoring Indigenous Peoples Day, not Columbus Day.
Many misconceptions surround this holiday. For example, in many schools throughout the country, students have been taught that Christopher Columbus founded the United States and have thus celebrated the day of his arrival. However, this is not true because many others voyaged to the Americas long before Columbus set foot, such as the Vikings.
Furthermore, while Columbus was hailed as a hero to Spain, he brought suffering to the peaceful native population. Not only did the explorers deplete natural resources and took land from the natives, but they also enslaved men, women, and children. As a result, the population of Native Americans decreased by over 90 percent, due to extensive brutality and foreign diseases. Thus, the misconception that Columbus is a hero led Americans to overlook the deadly consequences of Columbus’ arrival and the impact he had on innocent natives.
To truly commemorate what took place in the country’s past, people should celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. Before the Spanish conquest, many indigenous people populated near what is now California. Later, when they became under the Spanish control, they built pueblos throughout California, such as Los Angeles, which later became a bustling city. Without these indigenous people, the city of Los Angeles would not exist, which is why Americans, especially Californians, should celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.
Big cities like Seattle or Austin have already replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day with Los Angeles following suit in 2019. There are some people in America who still do not know the full story of Columbus because their city still celebrates Columbus Day. Everyone should learn to appreciate the natives for being the true discoverers of America and for having to suffer the consequences of Columbus’ landing in America. Replacing the holiday with Indigenous People’s Day would be wise since it does not seem right to honor a person who performed such acts.