Recently, many people celebrated Columbus Day, a banking, post office, and school holiday to commemorate the “discovery” of the Americas. However, this has caused consternation on the part of people who were already here when Columbus arrived, mainly indigenous people or Native Americans.
Within the history of colonization, there are many stories and examples of how this intersection of native and arriving peoples didn’t go so well for the natives. Slavery, land grabs and religious persecution were common. In light of this, different countries, states, and cities are reclaiming Columbus Day as indigenous people’s day. Other places make it a day all its own. Whatever we celebrate, I feel it’s important to know which aspects of history we are engaging, and whose stories we are validating.