Change Christopher Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day

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Christopher Columbus arrived to the Americas accidentally in 1492, beginning a long genocidal and oppressive future for Indigenous peoples in this country. Beatings, whippings, rapes, and murders were only some of the atrocities committed by this man and his followers.  Upon arriving to what would be known as the United States, Columbus noted of them, "Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want".

We celebrate his arrival, however, Native Americans had already lived in the Americas for millennia. It’s generally thought that indigenous tribes made their way onto the American continents from Asia around a dozen millennia ago.

Columbus' behavior along with merciless government legislation (such as the Indian Removal Act, Trail of Tears, etc.) has decimated the Indigenous population. It is embarrassing to think that at one point this land was completely inhabited by Native peoples , and today they are only about 2 percent of the US population. 

Today, the Native population still faces many struggles as a result of its eradication and painful history. Leaving people without almost any resources can leave such a lasting impact.  Alcoholism, depression, and suicide are taking the lives of many. Among the American Indian population, suicide looks very different in Native communities than it does in the general population. Nationally, suicide tends to be  prevalent among Native Americans, 40 percent of those who die by suicide are between the ages of 15 and 24. And among young adults ages 18 to 24, Native American have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity, and higher than the general population.

And yet, Columbus' arrival is still is celebrated as a national holiday.

So with this I propose an idea: 

Let's replace Christopher Columbus Day by celebrating Indigenous People's Day on a national level.  

 

This holiday has already been celebrated throughout various cities in the United States such as Berkeley, Denver, St. Paul, and Seattle. Indigenous People's Day is usually held on the second Monday of October. With your help, this can be made a nationwide holiday. 

By signing this petition, you are saying no to the remembrance of a genocidal maniac. By signing, you are instead taking the day to remember the importance of Indigenous communities. By signing, you are giving respect as a decent human being. Please, this is long overdue. 

Join me by signing this petition. Thank you. 

Emily Jacobo



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