Is Time to Abolish Columbus Day and Name It Right. Indigenous People Day

Enough with #thanksgiving tradition that celebrates genocide and white supremacy. #indigenouslivesmatter

Originally published: Medium

Today October 12, in 1492 in human history. It marked the day Indigenous people discovered a man who was lost at sea, and landed in the Americas believing he was arriving in India. They took him in, and in their rich economy and culture they gave gifts and offered this man and his crew food and shelter. Their economy was a culture of reciprocity. Something the white settlers here in America and all around the world, when met with indigenous wisdom refused to reciprocate. 

In the white cultures — focused on praising thought and individualism over collectivism and spirituality, there has always being limited beliefs at the core of their understanding of the world, where only few linear action were possible: to take, to appropriate and to conquer. 

And so they did.

“On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa Maria, the Pinta and the Nina. On October 12, the expedition reached land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and “Indian” captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.” source: History

Taking without reciprocating to the Earth and to Indigenous and Black communities around the world is terrorism. From people, tribes, cultures, ancient wisdoms as a glorified act of theft and genocide has being celebrate for the past 500 years and call it “Thanksgiving”, “4th july”, “Canada day” “columbus day”. These “holidays”, traditions and practices are rooted into white supremacy, anti blackness and non indigenous as result of colonization. It’s time for change and it starts with institutions, policies and our government. 

“Academicians, politicians, all the people that are supposed to be guiding this country say you’ve got to be neutral. As soon as I started looking at that word neutral and what it meant, it became very obvious to me there can be no such thing as neutrality. It’s a code word for the existing system…. Neutrality is just following the crowd. Neutrality is just being what the system asks us to be. Neutrality, in other words, was an immoral act.”

Myles Horton, co-founder of the Highlander Folk School, an incubator for the formation of the U.S. civil rights movement

This became a glorified culture of supremacy, of greatness, and has infected the souls of many. Especially those who lack access to proper education. Racism, capitalism and white supremacy are human conditioned and programed diseases. These are the results of an unjust and unequal systems that benefits a specific race, gender, social, demographic or higher economic status while the rest are left to fend for themselves. These systems are deadly and unsustainable for all of us and this planet. We all know it by now thanks to a world pandemic and climate change impacts; we are experiencing in our countries. We have 3 months until 2021. Let’s not go through next year without a plan and better understanding of how to change internally and our external environments. WE are in this together. 

Remember : Not teaching students about the historic injustices of indigenous people face as a result of colonialism is a conscientious erasure of history that benefits the government. Therefore, intergenerational trauma healing and decolonizing our minds is how we can take our power back and show others how to do the same. _AO

For all the educators out there, who care and want to teach the right history to children, even if your school organization and their policies do not let you. It doesn’t matter. Tell the truth above all, you know better by now. Their system is racists and is meant to keep those who are oppressing the most vulnerable in power. It is your duty as a teacher and parents to guide the future generation and empower them with the truth. As citizen of this planet and environmentalist women of color. I will be teaching this to my children and will be covering more of this on my YouTube channel and podcast along other BIPOC leaders and activist for the youth generation. Thank you for your support, your comments, sharing our work and subscribe to our monthly newsletter so my team and I can continue to provide more educational content and help others stay inspire, creative, sustainable and spiritually conscious as much as we can. 

For now, here is a cool way to start, by using geography as your beacon. 😉 https://native-land.ca/ Use this link to find native, indigenous territories that were there before, during colonization (invasion) and what they are called today in this colonized era that now we are (I hope) trying to dismantle and break free from. This link was giving to us during my climate reality project training by Indigenous queens and kings who also taught us valuable lessons. I hope this can give you a sense of where we have come from and what topics to study from real history (fact check and keep the books that lie and add plus share the real story). Let’s be the type of humans of the world we want our nature spirit to continue to live on. 

The linear understanding is sterile in its root and isn’t natural to our existence on this planet. Ancient wisdom was stolen, erased and rewritten to serve a prefered group or race. But nature, our own included are not forgotten. I mean, we are in the middle of a world pandemic trying not only to survive, but also going through an awakening, to the reality that we all have been conditioned to believe is just and is the right way. But by now, you know is not true. So, what you do when you know the truth? 

As Martin Luther King, Jr.said:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Our souls cannot forget. I know I cannot. The day my father told me where his family came from and my mother read me the Tainos story when I was 7 years old. How they were genocide, women were raped and children were murder or trade for slavery. That’s when I understood, that I had a choice and my parents were giving me that with education. I’m thankful for my parents insistence into learn real history and to always question the status quo. Because real stories do exist and are not all written in books. It’s crazy that it took a world pandemic and a movement to realize that we were all lie to in school. Now is our job, to make sure that the younger generations do not learn this 500 years bs and are giving the right tools to learn the real history. 

It must be re-written, especially now. 

As you read this you know deep down, within you something is awaking. Let it rise. This is an universal intelligence awakening. In our blood, our ancestors memories cannot be erased. Don’t ever forget who we are and where we came from. And who’s real rights for these lands are. (the one you are on right now while you read this). 

By collectively and in unity as human citizens, of this planet that’s our strength. Those who are opposing, are the supporters of a system that benefits them and they are using their 500 years of oppression and colonized language to gaslight those who are awake and ready to lead the way for truth, justice, sustainability and spiritually. 

Don’t let them, they need you uneducated and not learning the real truth. Those who are in lockdown, instead of using your energy and time to hate and leave nasty comments on people who are speaking the truth and using their voice instead of remaining silent. Or worse gaslighting and use of violence to prove “right”. (a.k.a: colonized and white supremacy core traits) Please educate yourself, is embarrassing your behavior and your ignorance is killing people too. 

We just added books I’ve read when I was younger about the Tainos, books you should read for you and for children and other Indigenous authors stories. Educate yourself, learn to listen to understand and don’t waste your time on trying to defend a system that literally does not care about you or your rights. Remember, those who you are opposing and gaslighting right now, are fighting for your human rights too. 

Here are my favorites :

The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus (Revised)
“A model of clarity and lightly worn erudition, and it contains the best and most straightforward description of the…bookshop.org

Taino
“Written” by Guaik n, the elderly Taino man who, in his youth, was adopted by Christopher Columbus and saw history…bookshop.org

Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491
A companion book for young readers based on 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, the groundbreaking…bookshop.org

People of the Longhouse
Six hundred years ago in what would become the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada, five Iroquois tribes…bookshop.org

The Dawn Country: Book Two of the People of the Longhouse Series
The epic tale that began in People of the Longhouse continues in this second book of the thrilling new Iroquois quartet…bookshop.org

Anacaona: The Golden Flower Queen
Anacaona lived during the time of Christopher Columbus. She was a Taina, a native from Quisqueya, the island that today…bookshop.org

Imperial Subjects: Race and Identity in Colonial Latin America
In colonial Latin America, social identity did not correlate neatly with fixed categories of race and ethnicity. As…bookshop.org

The Women of Colonial Latin America
In this second edition of her acclaimed volume, The Women of Colonial Latin America, Susan Migden Socolow has revised…bookshop.org

For Kids and adults: 

https://bookshop.org/a/11781/9780942961201

Much controversy remains in the school system over Columbus’s legacy and which holiday should be celebrated. Children in schools have been taught about Christopher Columbus as a hero, but the book Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, presents an argument that children should also be taught about the truth of what Christopher Columbus started and what affect his actions had upon the native people of the Americas.[30] Rethinking Columbus offers counter narratives to the Eurocentric view of American history that is typically taught in American schools.[30] Furthermore, books like Rethinking Columbus allow students to interpret the history of the Americas in their own way after having multiple perspectives to reflect upon.

Morning Girl
Winner of the Scott O’Dell Award, this moving and poetic fictional story follows two Ta no siblings and their life in…bookshop.org

Children of the Longhouse
When Ohkwa’ri overhears a group of older boys planning a raid on a neighboring village, he immediately tells his Mohawk…bookshop.org

Youth and adult read:

“all the Real Indians Died Off”: And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans
Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans In this enlightening book, scholars…bookshop.org

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
2015 Recipient of the American Book Award The first history of the United States told from the perspective of…bookshop.org

Why Race and Culture Matter in Schools: Closing the Achievement Gap in America’s Classrooms
Issues tied to race and culture continue to be a part of the landscape of America’s schools and classrooms. Given the…bookshop.org

There are more out there. Do your own research. Please, share in the comments if you have more books, articles, Indigenous authors we can add here

These are just some I’ll be reading and some I’ve read already thought you could read in your journey of decolonizing your mind daily while surfing … I mean surviving ( my soul misses the ocean, what do you miss the most during these times?) through a world pandemic. 

This is some brain food to keep things in perspective plus keep ourselves awake. Honestly, the truth is painful to digest and can’t imagine living through it. Honoring my ancestors today, because they sacrifice so much, so we can now enjoy the rights that they fought so hard for us to have now. Especially, women. 

Just keep in mind that knowing the truth, is liberation. Reading and education are their own form of revolution. Sharing what you learned through books, listing to someone’s life experience and understanding their struggles. Helping in any way, shape or form; reciprocity are act of kindness that can help your planet and liberate those who are being silence and oppressed. Especially those who do not believe they are slaves to the old system therefore they betray their own people for the sake of “neutrality”. Not knowing they just condemn their own people, by not using their power and their voice. By remaining silent and supporting the oppressors is how we all lose. By not changing and adapting, resisting to “normal” when that wasn’t normal. 

Liberation comes with sacrifices, resilience and massive dedication to find the truth while living through adversity. 

Movements create changes. Earth’s history and nature teaches us this everyday. Without friction there is no growth. So always remember that Books are there to learn about the past, stories are written to enhance imagination in order to keep moving forward. Taking care of our bodies, minds and spirits is vital for humanity survival (mental health is everyday, not just one day of recognition) and keeping constant learning mindset. It can and will set you free. Stay determined, be kind and keep your focus. Love is the new money. 

Happy reading and learning! if this is the first time you’ve heard about this and you thought that “thanksgiving’ is really this fairy tale story about celebrating with lots of food and giving thanks for all the things you already have. 

First, I hope you are doing that everyday and not just for some white washing and colonial holiday. I hope that you also know, this day also represents genocide, murder, slavery, rape, murder of innocent people that didn’t know what was coming by saving this asswipe and letting him in, helping him and his 39 crew of men… And look where that act of kindness got the Tainos and all Indigenous People for the next 500 years and still going unless we all do something about it. #Indigenouslivesmatter

We need to listen to a wider range of voices. We need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who “discovered” them. Their stories, too often suppressed, tells very clearly their 500 years of courageous struggle and the life wisdom the native ancestors have left behind for all of us to learn, remember and honor their sacrifice. Understanding what really happened to them in 1492 is key to understanding why people suffer the same injustices today.

Be kind to your planet, to you and others. Leave me in the comments which one is your favorite book so far and if you have more to recommend. We highly appreciate it ❤ 

Thank you for your support!

Love and Light,

_AO.

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Where are we going next? Podcast @your_story_matters and bringing solutions with other change makers, leaders plus amplifying those who are voiceless. Creativity for intergenerational justice unleashed. Stay tuned!

Angie Olivo