Columbus Day: Fact or Fiction

The controversy over Columbus Day has existed for years and remains unsettled. The controversy centers on the fact that Columbus is held up as the discoverer of America and a hero, when in fact he is neither. And no one in America is more aware of this than the Native American population whose ancestors inhabited the North American continent for centuries prior to Columbus’ accidental landing on these shores. (Columbus thought he had reached the Indies, thus using the word “Indians” to describe its indigenous population.)

Another primary concern is the continued practice of teaching the history of Columbus in America’s school system without reporting the full or accurate story. This perpetuates the lack of awareness among youth – our future leaders – and perpetuates the stereotypes often associated with American Indians in this country.

Many states have already discontinued Columbus Day” and instead celebrate Native American Day. Someone recently showed me a petition about Columbus Day. As someone who knows something about Native American history, I was surprised to learn some of the information presented about Christopher Columbus and realized it is something all Americans need to know.

Much history is recorded in Columbus’ own journals, which are often cited online. Many books have been written on the subject. And several petitions exist to stop celebrating Columbus and stop perpetuating the misconception. Here is one such petition to jump start your research.

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