Letter: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Published: 10/23/2021 7:00:17 AM

This is a good time for the Concord City Council to join our school district in changing the name of the Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We’ve learned a lot in these past months of pandemic-induced reflection about our national history of systemic and institutional racism. Now we know about the Doctrine of Discovery that led 15th and 16th century Europeans to believe they “owned” both the lands and the Indigenous people that their explorers “discovered” abroad.

Now we know that Christopher Columbus never actually set foot in North America. After years of brutal governorship, including enslavement of the people of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) he was finally recalled home, tried by his royal Spanish sponsors and stripped of his governorship and, we infer, a lot of his stolen booty.

To continue to celebrate this obsolete world view and this greedy adventurer is an affront to modern day efforts to achieve justice for Native Americans. Far better that we reserve this day for celebrating the people who lived here for thousands of years and, who did ultimately, ‘though just barely, survive our ancestors’ colonization of North America: and for searching our hearts for how to restore justice to their descendants who live with us today. Please join me in supporting this name change at a public hearing scheduled by the City Council for Nov. 8 or by writing to your ward and at-large councilors.

Patricia Bass



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