October 18, 2021

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Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: Indigenous Peoples’ Day Shared with Columbus Day “Contradiction”

2 min read

President Biden has formally recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a federal holiday, following a growing movement to debunk the myth of Christopher Columbus as a beneficent discoverer and replace it with recognition that the arrival of Columbus in the Bahamas unleashed a brutal genocide that massacred tens of millions of Native people across the hemisphere. But the holiday will continue to be shared with Columbus Day, which many argue glorifies the nation’s dark history of colonial genocide that killed millions of Native people. “It’s just not appropriate to celebrate Columbus and Indigenous peoples on the same day. It’s a contradiction,” says author and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. “Genocidal enslavement is what Columbus represents.”

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