Monday, October 8, 2018

Vox explains why the US celebrates Columbus Day plus Happy Canadian Thanksgiving and Native American Day

Four years ago, I wrote that I would celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving instead of Columbus Day.  For three years after that, I ignored Columbus Day and celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving instead, adding in Leif Erikson Day and Native American Day last year.  So why am I bothering to break the streak and even mention Columbus Day today?  Because Vox uploaded a video that both explains Vox explains why the US celebrates Columbus Day as well as giving the reasons why I no longer do, that's why.

Should Columbus Day be Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
In past decades, Christopher Columbus has gone from unquestioned US hero to problematic figure. For centuries, the destruction and disease he ushered into the Americas have been set aside, allowing the myth of a pioneering sailor who discovered America and proved the world was round to embed itself in US culture. But as this myth has been increasingly confronted with brutal historical facts, things have started to change.

While Columbus still has a national holiday in his honor, complete with parades and celebrations, there are many people fighting to dismantle the myth that surrounds him and choosing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.

Watch this video to understand how Columbus became a US icon over time and why his status is in question today.
That's about as good a video history of the day as I've found.  For a shorter version of why I don't celebrate, see this following e-card.

Now for the holiday I actually do observe, Canadian Thanksgiving.  Sabrina Cruz posted an entertaining and informative video explaining why Canadians get their own Thanksgiving last year, which is exactly the kind of video I was looking for four years ago but couldn't find.

Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend and I figured it's time to finally answer: what's the difference between American and Canadian Thanksgiving?

So in this episode of Cool History, we explore origins of Canadian Thanksgiving and just how Turkey Day differs from its American counterparts (plot twist: it's not much).
Looks like the idea for the holiday appeared in Canada before it did in the U.S.  Didn't know that before.

The Vox video mentioned Native American Day, so I conclude this celebration of holidays by being a good environmentalist and recycling what I wrote last year.

Happy Native American Day!
Native American Day is observed annually on the second Monday in October. While it is not celebrated in all 50 states, it is recognized in both California and South Dakota while gaining popularity in the rest of the nation.

Native American Day is a day to celebrate the cultures and contributions made to our country by the various Native American tribes.

In other parts of the country, Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations occur on this day. Events such as traditional dances, art displays and ceremonies have begun to replace Columbus Day practices.


Use #NativeAmericanDay to post on social media.


The South Dakota legislature unanimously passed legislation proposed by Governor George S. Mickelson in 1989 to proclaim 1990 as the “Year of Reconciliation” between Native Americans and whites and to change Columbus Day to Native American Day.
As someone whose three most significant others are all part Native American, and therefore all of whose children are part Native American, this is a more fitting way to celebrate today.
Happy historical holiday, whichever one you celebrate!

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