Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: A Call to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Did you ever stop to think why you get a day off for Columbus Day? What exactly is it we are celebrating? Some of us didn’t really celebrate anything at all today and reported in for work, but that’s beside the point. The real point is that celebrating the man who accidentally bumped into the American continent, thought it was India, and then tried to lay claim to the land for his European employers, despite the fact that the land was already inhabited, is kind of insane. I mean really, insane. As I saw on somebody’s Facebook page today, we should celebrate Columbus Day by breaking into someone’s house and then telling them that the house is now ours. Yeah, that would be more appropriate.

On national level, a lot of people think it would be more appropriate to honor the indigenous people of the United States on October 12 instead of Columbus. One such person, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, is a professor, activist and author with a new book out called, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (Beacon Press). She has created a petition to send to President Obama to have the holiday officially changed. Two cities, Minneapolis and Seattle have already made the change, but Ortiz wants the entire country to come correct. I signed her petition. If you want to as well, follow this link to It’s quick and easy and every single signature makes a difference.

What do you think about this issue? Should we change the focus of the federal holiday? I’m so listening.


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2 Thoughts to “Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: A Call to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

  1. AN

    I think that this situation is not only disgusting but a reminder of how lies are being taught to people. For myself it’s not so easy to believe such nonsense but for many people it’s easy to fall for the okee doke. It’s important for blacks, Native Americans and whomever that is being bleached out of history to push for the truth to be represented. And it’s vital not because it’s the truth but also it impacts the victimized group in a negative way. People need to know their history so they can have pride and understand the world we live in– so that we can function to the best of our ability.

    When I heard about the Native Americans marching about the Columbus lie — it made me remember the conflicting things that were taught to me in history class. And the Columbus thing just didn’t jive well with me at all along with a number of things. As a child I knew what I was being taught wasn’t true but no one taught me otherwise so I had to learn the lie to pass but ask myself unanswered questions. It wasn’t until I got older and read on my own and study society that I understood my concerns were valid.

    I am certainly signing the petition for the recognition of the truth.

    And it makes me wonder why Du Sable is not recognized more and doesn’t have a day in Chicago– for he was the first person to settle in Chicago. But of course credit goes to the white man whom he sold his house to.
    Black people can’t let whites teach their children history because it is always slanted one way.


    1. Ms. Meltingpot

      Preach, AN, Preach! I’m SMH with you and you bring up a good point about Du Sable. Basically we need to rewrite history, this time telling the truth.

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