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It’s National Indigenous People Day Not Columbus Day

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Imagine sitting in your own house and having an intruder breaks in , raping the women in your family , taking the children and then declaring your house as their own. That is what happened during the early stages of this country . It is the guilty conscious of America. What they want to sensor in the common core books. This censorship was even provided in the text books of public schools within the Native American reservations.

When people think of Columbus day they typically think of the day they got off from grade school. We were taught that Columbus was an Italian voyager who sailed the Atlantic sponsored by Spain to get goods from India. This was in the name of God ,Gold, and Glory . Instead he “discovered America” , thus why the Italian explorer is celebrated. What was ingrained in our heads from our textbooks is a whitewashed version of the real history.

Ironically , October 8th is also Indigenous peoples day . A day that changes the celebration of colonization into a day to reveal the truths about the genocide of Indigenous people.  It is also a day to celebrate Indigenous resistance , culture , and speak about their current injustices.

The truth is that Christopher Columbus simply got lost on his voyage to India and happened to stumbled upon land occupied by the Native Americans. He gave the Natives the ignorant nickname, “Indians”, because he thought he was in India.

Public Schools do not teach that Columbus was the first trans Atlantic slave trade owner  in America. He and his men pillaged rapped and killed millions of Natives Americans , a wound from which they are still healing from.  According to American Anthropologist, post colonization, there was an estimated 112.5 million Native Americans . Current day there are only an approximation of 7 million Native Americans.  They rapped the women , sold children,  and treated the men as slave labor. They were even given small pox blankets in order to kill off the population.

The descendants of Native Americans have remained despite the odds through their spirituality. Their warrior ancestors fought the Battle of Little Big Horn in order to keep their people alive on reservations .  To this day there are five hundred federally recognized tribes. All with different traditions and dress wear. They are a diverse people, with deep rooted values whom should be respected within this nation and not just worn as a Halloween costume.

There are still injustices being fought by the Indigenous people . Native Americans are killed by police encounters at a higher rate than any other race in America. Yet rarely do these death make national news.  Their morality rate is 12% higher than black people and three times the rate of white Americans. Ironically , Native Americans are the number one race to enter in the United States Military , however people never acknowledge this statistic.

Despite protest, the Dakota Access Pipeline was still built under the Mississippi River, running through the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. However, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to fight against the project. They live in fear that the pipe line may leak. The Energy Transfer Partners can’t detect leaks that are less than two percent full pipeline flow, which could mean that nearly 12,000 barrels per day can go undetected.

Native Americans continue to fight these injustices with the same tenacity as their ancestors . Indigenous People day is a day of reflection and of honoring the ancestors who fought for their right to exist .  They spread awareness on October  8th, however their efforts should be recognized nationally year round. It is time to get rid of the ignorant holiday of Columbus Day and start recognizing the day in homage to the Native ancestors that deserve it.

About the Writer
Valerie Lopez, Impact Staff

Valerie Lopez is a small town Hispanic girl from upstate New York who has big dreams and endless potential. She is a journalism major going into her sophomore...

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It’s National Indigenous People Day Not Columbus Day