Today is Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day is increasingly being celebrated across the U.S. in place of Christopher Columbus Day, as the myth of Columbus as beneficent discoverer is debunked and as the critical role of indigenous people in protecting the planet becomes more recognized. Indigenous defenders of Mother Earth are often at the front lines of environmental destruction, confronting militarized state and corporate power against enormous odds, with courage and determination. Columbus arrived in the Bahamas 527 years ago, unleashing a brutal genocide that killed tens of millions of native people across the hemisphere. Now, as the sixth great extinction accelerates and the planet catastrophically heats up, it may well be indigenous peoples who save us all.

Official recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day has occurred in at least eight states: Alaska, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Over 130 cities and counties have adopted the holiday as well, from big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Dallas, to smaller places like Livingston, Kentucky, and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia, the name of which derives from Columbus, just passed a resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day. “Columbus Day was officially designated as a federal holiday in 1937 despite the fact that Columbus did not discover North America, despite the fact that millions of people were already living in North America upon his arrival in the Americas, and despite the fact that Columbus never set foot on the shores of the current United States,” D.C. Councilmember at-large David Grosso said in a statement before the vote. “Columbus enslaved, colonized, mutilated and massacred thousands of Indigenous People in the Americas.”

The movement to replace Columbus Day gained momentum in 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival, with Berkeley, California, becoming the first city to make the change. Earlier protests inspired the movement, including the annual National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Massachusetts, held on Thanksgiving to challenge the myth of peaceful coexistence between native people and the English settlers, the Pilgrims. Un-Thanksgiving is an annual event in San Francisco, where hundreds travel by boat to Alcatraz Island, once the site of a notorious prison, for a sunrise ceremony. Native American activists occupied the island 50 years ago to protest the plight of indigenous peoples in the United States.

Across the Americas, indigenous communities are standing up against unrestrained exploitation of their land, extractive industries, violence, and racism. In Ecuador, indigenous-led protests against International Monetary Fund-imposed austerity measures, as well as against ongoing oil extraction and mining, have forced President Lenin Moreno to relocate his government from Quito to the city of Guayaquil.

Ecuadorian law professor David Cordero Heredia described the role of indigenous activism on the “Democracy Now!” news hour: “Indigenous people are offering us a sustainable alternative. They want to protect their jungles, their territories. They’ve got another way to see the world.”

Indigenous tribes in the Amazon in Brazil are confronting racist government policies as well as the life-threatening forest fires largely set on purpose with the blessings of President Jair Bolsonaro. The indigenous rights group Survival International said the president “wants to open up indigenous territories across Brazil to loggers, miners, and ranchers. He doesn’t care how many indigenous people die in the process, and has openly expressed his racist contempt for them on many occasions.”

As she makes her way across North America, 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg spent this week visiting indigenous youth activists in the Dakotas, on the Pine Ridge Reservation and on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, where hundreds of tribes gathered in 2016-17 to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. In his first days in office, President Donald Trump greenlighted both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL pipeline.

In a video produced by the Lakota People’s Law Project urging Congress to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, Tokata Iron Eyes, also 16 years old, standing next to Greta, said: “Indigenous peoples have been on the front lines of the climate crisis, and we know how to live in balance with the Earth. When we’re talking about solutions, we have to include indigenous peoples in the conversation. Let’s protect our indigenous peoples, their rights, their communities, their way of life because that’s what we’re going to need when we go into this battle.”

Columbus was a native of Genoa, Italy. But the movement to rename Columbus Day is not a slight against the Italian American community. It is a denunciation of genocide, and a celebration of indigenous peoples and their central role in our history and in our future.

 

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,400 stations. She is the co-author, with DenisMoynihan and David Goodman, of the NewYork Times best-seller “DemocracyNow!: 20 Years Covering the Movements Changing America.”

 

23 thoughts on “Today is Indigenous Peoples Day

  1. Indigenous Peoples deserve their OWN day, and a better name.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Comment Deleted – racist bullshit (TE)

      Like

      • If Twitter had any balls at all ⚽️, that’s exactly what Traitor Trump’s twitter feed would look like.

        Keep up the good work, T. E.

        But as for alcoholic brain-damaged 🐘💩 racist Rex Bohn 🍺 🧠🍺, you need to resign. Rex Bohn is a corrupt Republitarded moron.

        Like

  2. No, today is not Indigenous People’s day. Doesn’t say that on my muscle car calendar. Says Columbus Day.

    Muscle cars… you know, the ones that use large amounts of fuel and create exhaust?

    Interesting how many government employees had “Columbus Day” off today and enjoyed their day off. Many of whom are Liberals I’m sure. Shouldn’t they have taken “Columbus Day” off to protest changing it to “Indigenous People’s Day” since they’re so woke?

    No I didn’t see them out protesting either. Just taking a paid day off to celebrate the birth of the guy who brought about the beginning of the end of the Indigenous People’s demise on this continent. Paid for on the backs of people that actually work and were most likely working on “Columbus Day”.

    Just double checked on a few other Calendars I have in the house. They all say today is “Columbus Day”.

    Like

    • Nice attempt at trolling JAD, but no thanks
      “to celebrate the birth of the guy” No it’s to celebrate him getting lost trying to find a shorter trade route. *Columbus didn’t “discover” America — he never set foot in North America. During four separate trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola.
      At least 10 states now celebrate some version of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October, like Hawaii’s Discoverers’ Day or South Dakota’s Native Americans’ Day. Many college campuses have dumped Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day as have more than 100 cities, towns, and counties across the country.

      For many of us Columbus Day conjures the violent history of 500 years of colonial oppression at the hands of European explorers and those who settled here — a history whose ramifications and wounds still run deep today.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Comment Deleted – more vile and racist bullshit (TE)

    Like

  4. Thanks TE. It takes time to reverse the founding story, but the awareness is growing. Some will never replace the Columbus myth with the real story, as we can see from JAD’s grasping for the good old days. Onward to sailing the ocean blue forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Right-wing trolls are tremendously Trumptarded. 🏌️🤪

    #TrumpImpeachedHimself ⚖️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bullshit. I said nothing racist. You’re just a simpering victim whining about the injustices of a continental invasion that happened 100s of years ago. You’re the racist. You hate white people and no one gives a fuck. People of any hue under the rainbow can hate me and I’ll just smile on my way to the bank. Know why? Too busy working and hustling to worry about contrived social injustices.

    Get a clue, Bent Knee.

    Like

    • JAD:

      So, just to see if I have a clear understanding of your position:

      You don’t believe in trying to learn from mistakes made in the past? And you don’t believe in doing justice for the survivors?

      And that you do believe that trying to learn from the past and doing justice for survivors of past atrocities makes anyone (including myself who’s at white as they come) anti-white?

      Here’s the clue you are looking for and not finding: In us all… No matter who or what we are, we carry the genes of slaves and masters, killers and victims, oppressed and oppressors, saints and sinners.

      NONE of us is free of that taint. NO ONE has the right to claim they are blameless (at least on the historical time scale). None of us is immune to a painful examination of what our ancestors did in the past.

      NONE of us are innocent.

      The only path forward (that makes sense to me, anyway) is to learn from past mistakes, correct those broken decisions of the past as much as possible, and live our lives where we do the least amount of harm to each other as is humanly possible.

      “Humanly possible” is, I admit, although a low bar to jump over still an impossible goal to shoot for; but we should at least try for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. MOLA, I’m well aware that atrocities have been committed all over this planet and all over the timeline. We’ve learned from past mistakes as a society. Ergo, I don’t waste a lot of my time wringing my hands over past offenses. Until all people are equal under the law, we’re going to have groups that feel ostracized. Simple as that. In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what I do, regardless of the hatred of others.

    Like

    • We’ve learned from past mistakes as a society” The rise of Trumpism proves you very wrong

      Liked by 1 person

    • JAD:

      “In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what I do, regardless of the hatred of others.”

      You mean advocate machine gunning women and children at our borders?

      Or advocating the making of money as the only worthy measure of a life lived?

      You claim we have learned the lessons of the past and don’t need to pay attention to such things. The rest of course is just not your problem to bother with.

      I claim you as an example of a humanity that has learned precious few lessons and why we continue down our very dark path to destruction.

      Greed and the need to resolve problems with violence are two such lessons we haven’t come close to learning yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Okay, MOLA, you carry an excessive amount of guilt for past atrocities. I sympathize with your position to a point.

        Securing our borders: I guarantee if machine gun bunkers were placed at strategic intervals along our border, they would only need to be employed a few times to convince these invaders it’s not worth it to cross. The end result would be many less lives lost as no longer would these invaders die in the desolate wilderness they must traverse after crossing the border. As a side note, I bet the AMerican Indians wished they had secured the continent’s borders hundreds of years ago. They didn’t, and looked what happened. They of all people in the us should understand a secure border.

        Let me ask you this, MOLA: throughout your adult life, haven’t you worked and saved to ensure a comfortable home and retirement? If you have, how on earth can you vilify next for doing the same? I sincerely doubt you e been living in a cave and shunning capitalism just so you can proselytize on the Tuluwat Examiner.

        I’ve learned my lessons from past atrocities. I’m not forcing people into slavery nor am I committing genocide on a specific people. The “indigenous people” (who live on sovereign lands but still wait for an annual payment from the us govt, so more like indigent people) lost and invasion hundreds of years ago. Their descendants live more as Europeans than their ancestors and have every opportunity to better themselves and/or live comfortably the same as any white, black, Asian or other creed color or religion in this country.

        It’s over and done with. Time to move on. Your post just furthers my belief that minorities hate me a helluva lot more than I hate them. And guess what? I simply don’t care. They’re the ones wallowing in the darkness if they are hating. Not me. Got better things to do and fine things in life to enjoy!

        Like

      • More racist bullshit from this hateful troll, but since it’s addressed to you MOLA will let it up so you can shoot it down!

        Liked by 1 person

      • JAD:

        Guilt? I carry no more than anyone else with at least a partial familiarity with history. I don’t spend my days making sure my ashes and sackcloth outfit is looking spiffy.

        As to your notion that a few machine gunning’s will solve our “border issues.” You seem to think a few killings will stop people from wanting to migrate.

        You ignore the fact that people are dying at our southern borders right now. Yet they still come.

        You have this funny notion that if the Native American’s had only built a Wall, they’d still be in charge on this continent.

        Alas, our European ancestors were just dumb lucky. Being the incredibly dirty beasts they were, the Europeans managed to kill off 90% of the Native populations by witlessly spreading diseases.

        The Native American’s simply had no way to recover from that. But, our European ancestors had no problem with taking advantage of that fact.

        So much for Christian Human Compassion.

        It is the soulless pursuit of wealth that lies as the basis of many of the worst tragedies in our history (there’s that word again). The Native American’s biggest sin against the Europeans was that they were in the way.

        There is a difference between taking care of oneself and family… and using Wealth as a measure of personal success. You brag about how well off you are all the time, as if that justifies your outlook. We just don’t share that way of looking at life and what it is all about.

        If “it” (History, I guess) were all “over and done with” (as you put it) then perhaps you might have an argument about blithely wandering through life with no concern’s for the fate of others.

        But slavery is still practiced, even in the United States. Groups of people using violence against other groups is still practiced, even in the United States.

        You know nothing, JAD.

        I want to pick up on another point… You constantly say you get Hate from the Tuluwat Examiner (you must like it, you spend a lot of your time here).

        Speaking strictly for myself: I don’t hate you. I just don’t agree with you. Not agreeing does not equate to hatred. Arguing with your points does not equal hatred for you.

        My attitude toward you is nothing more than would be my attitude if I were to run across a rabid dog. I am not going to hate the dog but I will do what it takes to survive the situation out of respect for that rabidness.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. In reply to that racist JAD:

    The U.S. stole generations of Indigenous children to open the West
    Indian boarding schools held Native American youth hostage in exchange for land cessions.
    BY Nick Estes High Country News
    Nearly 200 Native children lie buried at the entrance of the Carlisle Barracks in the “Indian Cemetery” — the first thing you see when entering one of the United States’ oldest military installations. It is a grisly monument to the country’s most infamous boarding school, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, which opened in 1879 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and closed in 1918. Chiseled onto the white granite headstones, arranged in the uniform rows typical of veterans’ cemeteries in the U.S., are the names and tribal affiliations of children who came to Carlisle but never left. Thirteen gravestones list neither name nor tribe; they simply read “UNKNOWN.”

    It’s a chilling scene that I was unprepared for when I visited last year on the 100-year anniversary of the school’s closing. And the experience was made even more jarring by the mandatory background check and armed checkpoint I faced just to visit the cemetery and the school’s remnants. The campus is an active military base, and the heightened security measures are due to post-9/11 precautions. The unquiet graves of these young casualties of the nation’s bloody Indian wars lie next to the Army War College, which trains officers for the nation’s longest war, the war on terror.

    The cemetery was not supposed to be at the front entrance. It was an accident: In 1927, to make room for a parking lot, the Army dug up the children’s graves and relocated them behind the base — out of sight. Then, in 2001, the back of the base was turned into the entrance to satisfy new security protocols. Now, Carlisle’s deadly past is on full display.

    Carlisle, and boarding schools like it, are remembered as a dark chapter in the history of the ill-conceived assimilation policies designed to strip Native people of their cultures and languages by indoctrinating them with U.S. patriotism. But child removal is a longstanding practice, ultimately created to take away Native land. Although Carlisle is located in the East, it played a key role in pressuring the West’s most intransigent tribes to cede and sell land by taking their children hostage.

    A century after its closing, however, unanswered questions surround the Carlisle Indian School’s brutal legacy. Secrets once thought buried — why did so many children die there? — are coming to light. And the descendants of those interred are demanding more than just the return of their stolen ancestors.

    “The past of Carlisle is really about justice,” says Ben Rhodd, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s tribal historic preservation officer. Since April 2016, his office has been pursuing the return of 11 children buried at the Carlisle Indian Cemetery. Even in death, Rhodd explains, Rosebud’s children remain “prisoners of war,” held at a military base and unable to return to their home on the Rosebud Reservation, children who were “hostages taken to pacify the leadership of tribes that would dare stand against U.S. expansion and Manifest Destiny.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • (Comment deleted for more racist bullshit)

      Like

      • You’re a useless bitch, TE. Know that? Chicken shit little bitch with no heart hoping the government throws you some crumbs. Pathetic little bitch.

        Like

      • JAD (10/22 8:54 pm):

        I keep telling you and you think I’m just being a jerk to you but…

        You can’t compete on this level. This post proves that. Only a four year old would think this is an appropriate response.

        Seriously, I am concerned for you. Considering your violent rhetoric I can only believe you think killing is the only response that the rest of us will pay attention to and take seriously.

        The truth is… We are here to listen (otherwise why bother in the first place). But you haven’t said anything worth taking seriously.

        Be a good Conservative, listen to some William Buckley or George Wills, and try again. Learn about “real” Conservatism (and not the debased Trump version that has hijacked the Conservative label) and bother to observe the rules of this blog and you won’t get your posts cut. You do your cause little good and make us in Liberal-Land wonder if you are really just another Mad Dog that needs putting down.

        Believe it or not, I believe Conservatism has some points well worth consideration. I will listen to a cogent argument from you (actually, I look forward to one).

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks Mola, for being so clear and concise on your understanding of what JAD is all about. Dogma to the max and no red meat to chew on. He has swallowed trump whole and he will soon see that goose cooked. Happy thanksgiving.

    Liked by 2 people

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