Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of America. It is celebrated across the United States, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities around the country. It began as a counter-celebration held on the same day as the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors European explorer Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is intended to celebrate Native Americans and commemorate their shared history and culture.
This morning I looked at my calendar for the weekend saw that Monday we are off from work because of the Columbus Day holiday. Then I noted another entry for the same day, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”. The entry appears as part of the macOS Calendar app feed for US Holidays. I don’t recall seeing this in the past so I think it’s a recent change; perhaps as part of the upgrade to macOS Mojave.
Given what I have learned about the history of European colonization of the Americas, I don’t appreciate Columbus Day in the USA, especially in terms of how the holiday is framed as a “discovery”. The assumptions seems to be that a place isn’t a place, and a people and culture don’t matter, unless white Europeans have “discovered” it. Ugh!
Now that the USA has become more of a multi-curtural and multi-ethnic1 country, I think it’s important to revisit our history and re-frame the significance of historical events. We don’t need Columbus Day.
What are some ways that I can respectfully observe this US holiday? I’m open for ideas.
- I acknowledge that much work remains to get us truly and fully there. But progress is being made. Slowly. ↩