The idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is not a new one, although efforts to remove the monuments that toasts Columbus who Kevin Gover, director of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington describes as a “A killer and a slaver,” have gained tremendous momentum. Indigenous Peoples Day was first proclaimed by representatives of native nations and participants at the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas in 1977. The declaration of this body was applauded and echoed by native peoples around the globe. Indigenous peoples and their supporters are reclaiming history and correcting the narrative as they gear up for the yearly commemoration of Columbus' voyage, which they note actually marked the beginning of the European invasion of the Western Hemisphere and native resistance to it.
So, while each October children in classrooms around the nation will dutifully recite their Columbus Day "facts": the ships (the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.), the year ("In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."), we’ll reveal the truth that Columbus Day is in fact a celebration of colonialism. But, we’ll reclaim the day as Indigenous Peoples Day, an occasion to debunk the myths of discovery and support the continuing resistance to domination of the original Nations.
We’ll take you from the truth of African peoples interaction with the indigenous peoples of the “Americas” before Columbus, through the religious doctrinal basis of Christian/colonial efforts to assert dominion over Original Nations, that guided Columbus across the waters and remain embedded in our legal/political system. We’ll provide the forum for indigenous peoples to tell their story, their history of their struggle for sovereignty and self-determination, their resistance to conquest and the resilience of their sustainable relationship to the planet. ************* Tune in at 6 - 8 am to Wednesday Edition hosted by Mimi Rosenberg ************************************** In addition to being broadcast over WBAI, 99.5 FM in NYC and the tri-state area 7 - 8 pm EST Mondays, Building Bridges is syndicated to 50 broadcast and internet radio stations in the US, Canada and the UK
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