The foundational narrative we teach our children about Columbus is rooted in myth and falsity. Instead of teaching our real Native American history, or our real humanity, we’ve settled for American mythology. When we celebrate Columbus, we are blindly supporting indigenous erasure and perpetuating the romantic, dire, insatiable story of extinction. It’s the story that dilutes Native American genocide, and celebrates notions of pioneering, settlement, and manifest destiny. These myths reject indigenous intelligence, indigenous land, indigenous humanity, and dare we say, indigenous futures. So instead, today is a day to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples, and it is an important part of our movement— it centers our stories and therefore our resiliency:
“Every Native American is a survivor, an anomaly, a surprise on earth. We were all slated for extinction before the march of progress. But surprise, we are progress. “ — Louise Erdrich, from First Person, First Peoples
In the spirit of celebration, we invite you to listen to Adrienne and Matika discuss the complexity of this issue on our podcast All My Relations; and we encourage you to share it with your friends. If you live in one of 7 states or 130+ cities that has worked to #AbolishColumbusDay, then we applaud you. If you are still in the struggle to rewrite the narrative, we stand with you.
Special thanks to Teo Shantz for editing and production. Shoutout to Ciara Sana for this beautiful artwork.