Replace the federal holiday, Columbus Day, with Indigenous People's Day
This petition had 193 supporters
Christopher Columbus did not discover America, he never set foot on the North American continent, and he never believed that he had discovered "new land"; believing until his death that he found a new route to the Indies. He first landed in the Bahamas archipelago (mistakenly believing it to be the Indies) from there moving on to Hispaniola. On his first voyage Columbus kidnapped several indigenous Taino people to be sold as slaves, marking the first instance of trans-Atlantic slave trade. On subsequent voyages Columbus captured more people to be sold as slaves while also enslaving the local Taino population for labor in the newly-founded Spanish colonies. Columbus exploited these Indigenous People for their resources, their gold, and their labor. Thousands died because of brutal treatment. The men under Columbus's command committed horrible atrocities such as rape, dismemberment, murder and torture, which were documented by the Dominican friar, Bartolomé de las Casas in his eyewitness account, "The Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account". Under Columbus’s rule as "Governor and Viceroy" of the Caribbean Islands over 5 million natives were killed and millions more were enslaved within 3 years – as documented by las Casas.
Regardless of the significance of Columbus's unwitting discovery, Indigenous People were already living on the land he found; their ancestors were the true discoverers of the "New World". It is time to remember their discoveries and their struggles to survive in an age of colonial imperialism and holocaust, instead of the conquests of barbarians like Columbus. To honor these people and remember those who suffered and died due to imperial conquest we should replace Columbus Day with a new federal holiday, Indigenous People’s Day.
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