For high school students, it's a day to sleep in. For some Americans, it means a parade. But for American Indians Columbus Day is a time to mourn their losses.
The holiday "Columbus Day" celebrates the explorer who first came to the New World on October 12, 1492. However, archaeological proof shows that the Vikings and Chinese were actually the first "tourists" to visit America decades before Columbus. Maybe the Europeans thought the world flat but the Islamic and Asian scholars knew centuries beforehand that our earth was indeed round. President Franklin Roosevelt set aside October 12th as Columbus Day in 1937. Later, President Richard Nixon declared Columbus Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the second Monday in October.
photo by: ©Nativestock Pictures
A national holiday to celebrate genocide, slavery and blood-shed for millions of American Indians? American Indians feel that to celebrate the day when one culture uprooted another is disgraceful. Since the 70's this holiday has been rejected by many people who want the holiday known as "Native America Day" or "Indigenous People Day". Latin American countries call it Dia de la Raza - Day of the Race.
We need a solution of this day's recognition so that the U.S. might move forward from the division and bitterness of the past to a future of mutual respect and historical integrity.