More

What is Indigenous Peoples' Day and why should it replace Columbus Day?

For all they've endured, Native Americans should be celebrated.

What is Indigenous Peoples' Day and why should it replace Columbus Day?

"In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue!" Because of that, we celebrate Columbus Day!

Ask someone who Christopher Columbus is, and you'll get some variation on that chant about the man who "discovered" America. We're told this really romanticized story about a brave man who crossed the ocean to discover a brand new world.

Thanks, Chris! Sure, you can have a national holiday. You've earned it.


How America was settled, as told by "Schoolhouse Rock!" GIF from "Schoolhouse Rock!"

But, as we know, Columbus didn't so much "discover" America, as "land on an already inhabited continent and claim it as his own."

Did it take bravery to sail off into the unknown? Absolutely. But it's kind of disrespectful to the land's indigenous people to claim Columbus "discovered" it.


Image by AFP/Getty Images.

That, along with a host of other reasons — Columbus and his crew's penchant for murdering, raping, and enslaving the locals, for example — is why there's been a real push in recent years to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day.

The idea of Indigenous Peoples' Day is starting to catch on in a number of cities across the country.

Seattle; Minneapolis; Albuquerque; Alpena, Michigan; Olympia, Washington; Anadarko, Oklahoma; Bexar County, Texas; St. Paul, Minnesota; Lawrence, Kansas; and Portland, Oregon have all made Indigenous People's Day a reality! Good for them!

A 2000 Columbus Day protest in Denver. Photo from Mark Leffingwell/AFP/Getty Images.

Why not just have a separate holiday for indigenous people? It kind of goes back to that whole "Columbus was a really bad dude" thing.

In Seattle's resolution to adopt Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day, they explained it like so:

"The City of Seattle has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education, and social crises."

The United States' history regarding the Native American population has been filled with everything from genocide to theft to systemic discrimination and exclusion. Throwing a party and parades for the guy who started that whole mess doesn't make things better.

And no one is saying that Christopher Columbus' contribution should be erased from history.

Columbus existed. He had a massive impact on history. But maybe he's not worth celebrating as some sort of savior or hero. If anything, this is a call to remember Columbus' history in a more thorough, accurate sense.

Image by Hulton Archive/Getty Image.

The mythology of Columbus is rewritten history and it's time that changed.

Just about anything learned in U.S. history classes frames everything as being a battle of good (America) versus evil (anyone we don't like). We frame ourselves as saviors in our contributions to wars and culture and technology and innovation.

For example, one of the most well-documented attempts to revise U.S. history has been an attempt to rebrand the Civil War as being about states' rights, taxes, or just about anything other than slavery.

Hey, I get it — no one wants to be like, "Remember that time we went to war because we wanted to own people? Yeah, that's embarrassing." So, Texas, for example, decided to just add that slavery was just a Civil War side issue (Just a side issue, guys! NBD! People make mistakes!) into its guidelines for textbooks.

Another example is how we talk about — or rather, don't talk about — the fact that the U.S. ran a bunch of Japanese internment camps around the time of World War II. We hear a lot about what happened at Pearl Harbor, us dropping bombs, and how we basically saved the rest of the world (You're welcome, BTW) in the process (Yay, America!). But we sure don't like to talk about parts that paint us in a less than pleasant light.

If those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it, we're doomed.

We shouldn't erase history. We should embrace the real history of our nation — as ugly as it can sometimes be.

We must celebrate those who truly "discovered" the land. And that means honoring the indigenous people who were here before ol' Columbus came along.

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

Keep Reading Show less