Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Wikipedia (Wikipedia)

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.


  1. I acknowledge that much work remains to get us truly and fully there. But progress is being made. Slowly. 

A few weeks ago, my friend Dave shared with me some home made Mexican spiced cake and brandy with brandy. They were so delicious that I ate three of them and ended up taking large dose of [Novolog](http://www.novolog.com) to compensate at lunch time. The memory of the delicious desert lingered and I decided I had to attempt to make my own.

Dave’s wife, Elizabeth, mentioned that I could use brownies to start my batch so that’s what I tried to do. I found and modified a [Martha Stewart](http://www.marthastewart.com/351250/rum-balls) recipe on the web that used brownies and rum. Martha’s recipes uses brownies mades from scratch. I don’t have Martha’s skill or time so I improvised with a packaged brownie mix.

This was my first time using an electric mixer. The mixer belongs to my sister-in-law. The machine is heavy but easy to use.

I ran into one issue while making these. The mixture was as first quite sticky. I added the corn starch to thicken the mixture so that I could make balls. Had I done a little more research I would have found out that [putting the mixture into the fridge](http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Holiday-Rum-Balls/) for 15 minutes would have helped. I would not have needed the corn starch.

I was hoping these would be a hit at the party at my sister-in-law’s house. Guests seemed to like it but perhaps they were just being polite.

Ingredients

* 1 package brownie mix
* ¾ cup corn starch
* ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
* cocoa powder, for rolling

Directions

* Make the brownies and let cool.

* Break brownies into small pieces; transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the corn starch. With machine on low speed, pour in rum, and mix until crumbs start to come together.

* Shape into 1-inch balls, and roll in cocoa powder to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Believe it or not, there was once a time when there was no Santa, no Christmas gifts, no menorah, no Valentine’s Day, and no New Year’s Eve ball drop. So where did they come from? Well, in the case of Christmas, the holiday we know now is believed to be a melding of both a celebration of the birth of Christ and earlier, pagan winter celebrations like Saturnalia, the Roman sun-god holiday of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, and the Germanic Yule. But it’s not the only special day of the year that our ancestors celebrated in vastly different ways.Christmas, the holiday we know now is believed to be a melding of both a celebration of the birth of Christ and earlier, pagan winter celebrations like Saturnalia, the Roman sun-god holiday of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, and the Germanic Yule.Where Holiday Traditions Come From – LIFE Magazine