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Christopher Columbus Isn’t Doing Well in 2021

Christopher Columbus Isn’t Doing Well in 2021
October 04
14:05 2021

Columbus May Lose ‘Discover’ Card

By John Christian Hopkins

President Nez

Many people have been taught since grade school that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492.

But there are two major obstacles to overcome if you want to belief that tale. The first is that the erstwhile explorer never actually set foot on the soil of what would become America.

The second would be to completely discount the millions of people that already lived there.

The Navajo Nation has sent several letters of support for a congressional bill that would change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

The new bill was introduced by U.S. Sens. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.). It would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a federally recognized holiday on the second Monday of October.

“The Navajo Nation has long been opposed to celebrating Columbus Day. He is credited by many with ‘discovering’ the Americas, but this characterization ignores the fact that the land was already inhabited by numerous peoples with advanced cultures, technologies, and systems of government that rivaled the Europeans at the time,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said. ” For generations, Indigenous communities throughout the Americas have fought to survive colonization, assimilation, disease, and genocide. Many of these same atrocities continue today, but the Native peoples of this land continue to be resilient, strong, and prosperous.”

Stock Photo

In 2019, the New Mexico State Legislature voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It was signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. A total of 13 states and more than 100 cities have recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

More should do so, Nez said.

“Recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day will help our future generations revel in their identities and promote the survival of our cultures, languages, and indigeneity. Transforming Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day will encourage young Navajos to have pride in the place and people they come from and the beauty they hold within,” Nez added.

Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer agrees with President Nez that it’s time to stop honoring Columbus and start celebrating the resilience and success of Native peoples.

“A nationwide shift to Indigenous Peoples’ Day would send a strong message to the descendants of our ancestors who continue to persevere to this day. It’s not only about acknowledging the wrongdoings of the past, but the path to healing for our people,” Lizer said.

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