OPINION: Columbus Day to be changed to Indigenous Day


photo courtesy of Victoria Pickering on flickr.

Brianna Warriner, National News Editor

Oct. 10, 2021 was formally nationally recognized as “Columbus Day,” but last year President Joe Biden issued a statement that the holiday will now be recognized as Indigenous People’s Day. The White House then announced that the holiday will celebrate the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognize(s) their inherent sovereignty, and commit(s) to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.’

According to the New York Times, over 130 cities have listened to Natives who call for a difference to be made, by adopting the change. Indigenous People’s Day was observed as a stand-in for Columbus Day long before Biden addressed the issue, with states like South Dakota who established the holiday in 1990. Cities including Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Denver have long celebrated the holiday and honored the Indigenous people who helped establish the world we live in today.

Native Americans, Hawaiians, and Alaskans shaped the world into what it is but have been, in return, forced into uncomfortable and intolerable situations including: being forced onto reservations, broken treaties, and having their culture stolen from them through residential schools (boarding schools that Native American children were forced to go to in order to assimilate). Inventions from natives include kayaks, baby bottles, syringes, and pain relievers. 

Indigenous people have contributed much to modern America and deserve a holiday commemorating them for it.