Columbus Day? Warning: Soapbox Ahead

What day did you celebrate yesterday? More than likely it was Columbus Day. I celebrated Native American Day, too. I am thrilled that my ancestors immigrated to the United States, but we must not forget that the ancestors of many other people were already here! Indian tribes spanned the country and kept being forced further westward by the later arrivals to this land. I have always groaned when reading histories that expound on how the Indians were given land for their reservation two or even eight states away. Much of this land was theirs to begin with and more importantly the land “given” to them by the U.S. government was often not farmable. I read one bit of official correspondence that discussed how some land was being eroded by the river and basically the Indian family was told “tough.”

South Dakota has declared a specific Native American Day the last week in September. Other areas celebrate Native American Day on various dates, but some do observe it on what others call Columbus Day. Let’s not forget the original settlers of what was to become the United States, Canada, and other areas.

© 2007, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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