WCCUSD board replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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Last week, the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s (WCCUSD) Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Moving forward, the district’s administration and schools will celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October, the same day as Columbus Day.

WCCUSD joins dozens of cities and a number of states and universities to formally state that Native Americans were this land’s first inhabitants, and that Christopher Columbus’ voyages should be credited less with discovery than with colonization.

“Honoring Christopher Columbus, who did not contribute to science but inflicted lasting historical trauma to Indigenous People, sends the wrong message to our children,” according to the WCCUSD resolution. Local Native Americans and advocates praised the Board of Ed’s decision.

The full resolution is below. A history of Christopher Columbus’ explorations — which can be found here — confirms that in four voyages between 1492 and 1502, Columbus accidentally reached the Americas while trying to find a direct water route west from Europe to Asia. During those trips, he landed in the Caribbean islands, Panama and the South American mainland.

“Though he did not really ‘discover’ the New World—millions of people already lived there—his journeys marked the beginning of centuries of transatlantic conquest and colonization,” according to the History.com account.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently, “native americans” were not the first “indigenous” people here in North America. Evidence is mounting that they pushed out a previous population of European-centric origin:

    Google: The Smithsonian Magazine:
    smart-news/the-very-first-americans-may-have-had-european-roots-5517714/?no-ist
    The Very First Americans May Have Had European Roots
    Some early Americans came not from Asia, it seems, but by way of Europe

    Google: The Washington Post:
    /national/health-science/radical-theory-of-first-americans-places-stone-age-europeans-in-delmarva-20000-years-ago/2012/02/28/gIQA4mriiR_story.html
    Radical theory of first Americans places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago

    The National Geographic:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/09/0903_030903_bajaskull.html
    Controversy erupted after skeletal remains were found in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996. This skeleton, estimated to be 9,000 years old, had a long cranium and narrow face—features typical of people from Europe, the Near East or India—rather than the wide cheekbones and rounder skull of an American Indian.

    Google: Science Nordic dna-links-native-americans-europeans
    Ancient DNA reveals that the ancestors of modern-day Native Americans had European roots. The discovery sheds new light on European prehistory and also solves old mysteries concerning the colonisation of America.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=europeans+were+the+first+americans&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

  2. I never understood why there was such a hullabaloo about Columbus, anyway. Wasn’t it originally just an Italian-American holiday, like St Patricks day is an Irish-American holiday or Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday?

    I don’t think Columbus Day deserves to be a public holiday, just like those other two don’t deserve to be, either.

    And if there’s going to be a school district recognition day, it should be a full day in school of integrated learning about the thing they want to recognize and honor, not a day off! MLK, Indigenous People, Caesar Chavez, Presidents, etc. District holidays should only coincide with recognized public holidays. That way they wouldn’t be starting the school year in AUGUST and going almost two weeks into JUNE!

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