No Columbus Day in Columbus, Ohio? City says it can't afford one

The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image

But on Monday, visiting the UI for the first official campus Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, Teters said there's been "a lot of progress", citing the creation of the Native American House and the rejuvenated American Indian Studies program among other developments. Consider donating to the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, a group made up of five nations (and supported by 30 Native American Tribes!) who are in a battle to preserve Bear Ears National Monument that has come under threat because of the Trump administration. They say he committed genocide 500 years ago. He doesn't understand why Americans stay so attached to the Genovese explorer when Italian luminaries like Giuseppe Garibaldi, Giordano Bruno and Amatore Sciesa could easily be honored instead.

"We're just happy that it's being recognized, not only for Native Americans but also for indigenous cultures worldwide who were affected by colonialism in a negative way", she said.

The daylong commemoration began with a sunrise ceremony by native American residents, some in traditional dress, followed by a 5-kilometer run through downtown led by City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, himself a member of the Wyandotte Nation who grew up in Oklahoma.

More and more of the present-day United States is realizing that Columbus isn't the hero that gradeschool texts once told of. "Just to know that our representatives are supporting us and hearing our voices is very impactful".

The first New York City Indigenous Peoples Day celebration was in 2015, when 6,000 indigenous people and their supporters gathered on Randall's Island.

The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image
The News Gazette Charlene Teters speaks during an indigenous peoples day event on Monday Oct. 8 2018. Image

In Columbus, the explorer had been a point of pride in the 19th century and into the 20th, when three statues were erected in his honor over the decades.

It was the most popular tour bus destination in the country that year. He cared about Italian immigrants when they were reviled by society, and thanks to people like him, their population no longer needs thoughtful inclusion.

Recent campus developments, including the University's decision to rename some (but not all) campus features that reference California mission system founder Junipero Serra, were mentioned at the Vigil, and a statement issued by Stanford's Native American community praising the Serra decision was read by Carson Smith '19, a chair of SAIO. "It's hard to put into words, because there's so much pain and history, but it's also a celebration of us and our resilience, how we are still here ..." We must add proper historical context to our Columbus monuments and put them in museums, rather than public parks. Now, for 2018, the groups say they will "once again will be rethinking Columbus Day with a focus on Indigenous people, their lovely cultures and traditions".

"What we do is focus on what we're here for to enjoy each other's company and to enjoy our history and to celebrate this day", said Joe Latino, one of the people celebrating the day.

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