😀 Today, We Celebrate Columbus Day & Indigenous People’s Day…

As a child, most of us learned that Columbus “discovered” what later became known as America, on 12 Oct 1492, 527 years ago. We celebrate Columbus Day on the 2nd Monday in October.

There is another day we also celebrate on this day. it is “Indigenous People’’s Day”… the People who were here long before Columbus, or even the Vikings. In 1499-1502, Amerigo Vespucci sailed to the “New Land,” wrote about it and In 1507, a German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller, using information from Vespucci, made a map and called the new land “America.” He was unaware of Columbus’ journey here and assumed Vespucci had made the discovery. Mistakes were made: first, Columbus thought he had reached India and henceforth, he called the Indigenous People here, “Indians.” Second: The “New Land,” our continent bears the first name (a variation of) Amerigo Vespucci, who was the second…or third or forth of Europeans to “discover the Western Hemisphere.

Obviously, since many people were already here, “They” or their predecessors had “discovered what we now call America long before… in fact thousands of years before, probably by crossing the ice shelf/bridge from Asia, or the connected Alaskan-Siberian peninsula before the Bering Strait developed separating the two continents. There is another possibility that a European People crossed over the ice shelf into what is now Nunavut, Canada and migrated southward into Eastern North America.

In the absence of empirical knowledge, artifacts, building ruins, burial sites and mounds, skeletons and other evidence, combined with perceived logic gives us the following historical sequences. The “CLOVIS” People occupied Eastern and East Central USA lands by 12 to 15,000+ years ago according to evidence found.

Other pre-second-millennium Indigenous People included the Adena Giants, the Anasazi Chacoan and other Pueblo Cultures, who build the great stone structures in the USA Southwest, including the Cliff-Cave structures in Canyon de Chille in NE Arizona, etc. Other Indigenous people were the Mound Builders of the Midwest and those of the Megaliths in the East. Later came the Athabascans (or Athapaskans sometime called the Dené); the Algonquins of the East and the Eskimos… the Aleuts and Inuits of the North.

A few of the “modern” many Indian tribes which we know the most about are the Apache, Cherokee, Chippewa, Comanche, Hopi, Iroquois, Navajo, Sioux, Zuni, etc. The Navajo in Arizona and New Mexico, and the Cherokee, primarily in North Carolina and Oklahoma, are the largest surviving Indian tribes in the USA. There are many other officially recognized Indigenous peoples in the Americas and a few “created” tribes who own legal gambling centers.

Today, there are approximately 3.0 million single-race plus 2.3 million mixed-race Indigenous People in North America… and on this day, we celebrate their lives, their cultures and traditions and hope that they accept us… their Black, Brown and White neighbors to their Land.

There are some people who want us to give up celebrating Columbus Day in favor of only celebrating Indigenous People Day. However, I think there is room in our culture to celebrate both… even though both our Continent and the Indigenous People were mistakenly misnamed. So, my friends: “Happy Indigenous People’s Day… and Happy Columbus Day.”😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *