In 1492, Columbus began the genocidal massacre of the Indigenous
Population of the Americas. This massacre continued and was made policy
by Andrew Jackson after America became an institution. It continues on
today as the Native peoples remain oppressed and targetted by the American
government and ruthless corporations.
Indigenous Day is more than a denouncement of Columbus Day, a day which
blindly celebrates the Native holocaust. Indigenous Day is about the
awareness and condemnation of the ongoing oppression of the Native peoples
that is still occurring in the world today. It's easy to condemn a dead
man and say that Columbus wittingly brought about the systematic
destruction of the Indigenous culture. It's more difficult to condemn
society today, which may include ourselves, for allowing it to continue
through our blind eye and silent voice.
On Indigenous Day, we must be silent no more about the ongoing oppression
and attempted assimilation of the Native culture. We will look this
destructive force in the eye, even if that means looking in the mirror.
Nationwide education, initiative and action are needed to bring
awarenessto this day. The Native Youth Movement is planning protests in
Denver and on the US/Canadian border by Blaine, WA over the "holiday"
weekend. More actions are needed to happen throughout the country in
solidarity with this movement on this day.
In Portland, there will be speeches and video showings throughout the day
to educate all about the Native people's continuing struggle as well as
music to celebrate the Indigenous culture. These events serve a critical
purpose but they do not confront the entire problem. More actions are
needed to confront the government and the businesses which serve to
eliminate the Native people's way of life.