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In the United States, today has been traditionally celebrated (since 1892) as Columbus Day. This title was adopted as such at a time when Italian immigrants were vilified and faced religious and ethnic discrimination, notably in the year after a mass lynching of 11 Italian Americans by a mob in New Orleans. Over the years there has been a rising of challenge, not for the representation of the people who came to the United States searching for safety and acceptance in their new home but about the man, Christopher Columbus, who led the expedition to this “New World” but who, ironically, had never set foot in this country; Columbus anchored in the Bahamas! (npr.org)

In a growing trend, over 100 cities, towns and counties in 10 states across the country including this year the D.C. Council of the nation’s capital, are celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In 1992, speaking about the growing shift, Loni Hancock, then mayor of Berkeley, California (the first U.S. City to switch), said the following:

I think that to fully understand and take responsibility for who we are as a people in this land made it very important to be clear about who was here and reflect on what happened in our history after that, in terms of the displacement and oftentimes genocide of those people. How that might have reflected a general discounting of the history and the humanity of non-white people of many kinds in this country and to take responsibility for our history.” (npr.org)

May this trend continue to take hold across our land as we open ourselves to the deep spirituality of our Native brothers and sisters in the manner of Chief Seattle who said:

All things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man…the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports…” and “Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”