Native American Views on "Thanksgiving" Today
Not a comfortable subject, but suffice to say "Thanksgiving" and "Colombus Day" are painful reminders of the human holocaust, 1492-present, for many Native Americans. A trend of reconciliation is emerging here in the United States. Here is a short video of feelings from a few descendants of America's first peoples on Thanksgiving, and below that excerpts from a recent article on positive efforts for reconciliation with First Nations Peoples in Los Angeles. --Chris Searles (editor)
L.A. City Council replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on city calendar
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to eliminate Columbus Day from the city calendar, siding with activists who view the explorer as a symbol of genocide for native peoples in North America and elsewhere.
The day will remain a paid holiday for city employees, regardless of the name.
"This gesture of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends." — Councilman Mike Bonin, great-grandson of Italian immigrants
Several U.S. cities — including Seattle, Albuquerque and Denver — have already replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.
“We are not creating a racial conflict,” he said. “We are ending one.”
The council replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on a 14-1 vote, with Buscaino opposed. The move followed a fractious hearing, with Italian Americans and Native Americans cheering and jeering at different moments.
One opponent of the holiday name change called it “a slap in the face” to Italian Americans. Another called it racially divisive.
John Giovanni Corda, a Beverly Hills resident who identified himself as Sardinian, told the audience to “shut your mouths” after they started heckling. He told the council that O’Farrell’s proposal was anti-Italian.
“Why don’t you stop picking on Christopher Columbus as though you’re picking on our people,” he said. “We never hurt you. We never wanted to hurt you.”
Backers of the name change spoke of newcomers to the Caribbean and North American enslaving, raping and killing Native Americans. They argued that the human cost has not been accurately described in schools and public life.
“We’ve been erased from education. We’ve been erased from the history books,” said Joseph Quintana, development director for United American Indian Involvement, which supports Native Americans in the Los Angeles area.