Columbus Day conquered by Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Carlos Gutierrez, Editor-In-Chief

Columbus Day is a holiday that celebrates the arrival of the Spanish into the New World, trying to find a new route to India by traveling West. This idea was beyond the imagination of the people in the fifteenth century, because they believed the earth was flat. This belief persisted even though before the common era, the Greeks had already knowledge that the earth was round. On October 12, the Western continent celebrates the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his ‘discovery’ of the new land.

However, humanitarians and liberals are demanding that the idea behind this tradition is changed, because they believe is offensive to all native tribes that had to suffer from the genocide, slavery, and robbery of the land as a result.

Inside of the community of Taylorsville High, a poll shows a divided opinion with some wanting the change to happen and others thinking it’s not necessary.
Some of the answers range from, “I believe that people should have the right to celebrate whatever they want to celebrate. It goes along the lines of you live your life, I live mine. ‘you do you and I’ll do me.’

I also don’t believe we need a certain day to give appreciation to native Americans. Instead we should do it every day and on our own times.” It also included more positive views such as, “I don’t think it should be replaced but it should be given a day to honor those who were on the land before us. We should realize what they did here and what we did to them to have everything that we have today.”

Probably given how people think, changing the name from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day won’t make much of an impact on society.

In contrast, according to Dr. Leo Killsback, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and assistant professor of American Indian Studies at Arizona State University, “Indigenous Peoples Day represents a shift in consciousness; it acknowledges that indigenous peoples and their voices are important in
today’s conversations.”

Alaska and Hawaii celebrate a discovery day which is different from Columbus day, in which Hawaii celebrates Discovery Day where they commemorate the polynesians discovery that day. According to CNN, only 12 in the U.S places (not the whole state) have adopted this new tradition: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusett, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. In spite of having been a huge influence in America, Spain is also considering the demolition of a 196-foot statue of Christopher Columbus in the city of Barcelona, however, the petition didn’t garner enough votes to pass through.

Every year, Columbus Day has been celebrated, commemorating the Italian explorer who conquered the Western world. People happily celebrate it in form of a three-day weekend, that only includes public offices, schools, banks, and government. The initiative is not about getting rid of it, just to change the meaning of the celebration.

Senior Celeste Stratton said, “I think we should celebrate the culture of indigenous people here. The culture is dying out today and I think it’s something important to teach that our country was build on the blood of the indigenous people and we should at-least have one day for them. Utah should have been one of the first to do this, they had the biggest impact on this land out of any other people, and they have paid for it many time with their blood.”