Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in Massachusetts

Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in Massachusetts

June 8, 2022
Signatures: 106Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Selma J

For 400 years, the people of America have been celebrating the atrocities led by a villain who colonized hundreds of Native Americans. A man who not only captured but enslaved and abused Indigenous peoples purely for the gains of bartering goods such as gold, silks, crops, and spices. His name is Christopher Columbus and the holiday that we celebrate is Columbus day. 

Massachusetts is still a part of the 24 remaining states, out of 50, in America that celebrate 'Columbus Day'. This celebration in depth is a commemoration of the violent atrocities that Columbus and his men inflicted upon the indigenous ancestors of this country. It comes to show that we accept his racist actions and don't see an issue with the way Columbus treated Indigenous people.

Columbus and his men…

  • Enslaved the indigenous people
  • Mistreated native individuals of all ages by torturing them for entertainment purposes
  • Set cruel and inhumane punishments for not complying, such as the execution of a body part
  • Starved them
  • Subjected native women and men to sexual abuse and deprived them of their rights
  • Brought at least 30 diseases to the Americas which resulted in the death of 90% of the native population, that calculated to be about 55 million individuals
  • Forcefully converted the Indigenous people to the Christian faith against their desires using violent tactics

And the list goes on.

Columbus should not be memorialized, let alone given a holiday. His actions would be considered insane and utterly unacceptable in society today,

It is disrespectful to uphold such a holiday as a state. The holidays we, as a state, celebrate, define our values as a community. Can we truly classify our state as an inclusive space when we can't even eradicate a holiday that celebrates the oppressive and inhumane acts of western colonization? The United States pledged on the principles of equality and opportunity for all, a promise that was never fulfilled. For years federal policies have sought to dismiss Native people and eradicate Native cultures. 

Indigenous Peoples Day will not reverse the discrimination, but it will allow us to observe their histories and cultures that have been ignored for far too long. This day can reflect the importance of their role in our history. It will also correct the false narrative that has lionized the Italian explorer in educational institutes.

Columbus Day is an active act of discrimination and an annual reminder for the native people of our state of what was once inflicted upon the Indigenous community and demonstrates that the nation is not apologetic for the genocide that was committed. 

Native Americans are still highly marginalized in our society today. Their lands are being violated as they have been utilized for mining and drilling sites/projects for decades  Not to mention, it was not until 1924, by the Synder Act, that Native Americans born in the U.S. were admitted to full U.S. citizenship. 

The goal here is to collect as many signatures as possible so that they can be approved by a local legislature and transformed into a bill.

While many towns in Massachusetts recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, like Boston, it is not a statewide recognition.

Even South Dakota, the first state to officially celebrate Columbus Day, now no longer recognizes it as an authorized state holiday.

Some might argue that Columbus Day celebrates Italian heritage, pride, civilization, and victory. However, the horrific things that Native Americans endured by the so-called Italian hero​​ greatly overwhelm any victory and should not be justified or disregarded. 

As a resident of Massachusetts I have done my part in this issue, and have sent a letter to the General Attorney of Massachusetts Maura Healey and local senator Michael J. Barrett and representative Carmine Lawrence Gentile pushing for a bill that will officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, now I just need your help and support by signing this petition so that this petition can be taken into further steps.

Thank you!

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Signatures: 106Next Goal: 200
Support now