Apr 282014
Christopher Columbus changed to Indigenous People's Day, Native American, American Indian

Photo by Elwood W. McKay III Chief Grey Owl, freedigitalphotos.net

When I was growing up, there were many things that didn’t make sense to me. One of the things that confused me was the fact that Christopher Columbus discovered America.

This was taught in all our schools which disseminated the Italian explorer discovered the ‘New World’ in 1492. He was even appointed a special day that was named after him, ‘Christopher Columbus Day.’ I (secretly) didn’t understand why and thought I was robbed of my sanity.

Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering America, but it wasn’t actually him, it was the indigenous Americans (Native Indians) who were living off the found land. This erroneous fact was fervently taught in the schools and celebrated by everyone.

Therefore, if everyone agreed to this certain ‘fact,’ then it must be true and I just didn’t understand the whole concept. I was the different one, the one who couldn’t comprehend facts.

In my mind, I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around the idea that someone discovered something that other people already knew. The Native Americans were inhabiting the land long before Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ it. Thus, I succumbed that the definition of ‘discovered’ may be the culprit in my conundrum and people, including the pundits, used the term ‘discovered’ loosely.

Or people were brainwashed for generations.

Christopher Columbus or Native Americans?

We learn not to dispute any educational ‘facts’ that our forefathers have taught us despite the obvious inconsistency. It appears anything that is taught in the schools cannot be questioned, so people accept the given history as fact. This generational knowledge (or lack thereof) adds to the absurdity by supporting what they were taught in schools instead of realizing ‘something doesn’t add up here.’

I write this because someone, somewhere finally sees things the way I do. I am not the different one anymore as the city of Minneapolis is addressing the contradiction of who actually discovered America.

The city council voted to rename Christopher Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. Finally, there are other people besides me who realize that Christopher Columbus ‘found’ America, he did not discover it.

Thank you, Minneapolis, for giving me back my sanity.