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community building | indigenous issues | legacies indigenous day

Columbus Day Be Damned!

In Olympia today, over 100 people gathered to celebrate indigenous people and honor the lands that were supposedly "discovered" by Columbus.
The reality, as many of us know, is that Christopher Columbus' landing in 1492 marked the beginning of European colonization of Turtle Island and the end of many ways of life for the people who were here to greet the lost traveller. It is not surprizing that Columbus Day is still celebrated as a federal holiday, since the US federal government to this day has not strayed far from the policies enacted by Columbus: imperialism, rape, plunder, torture, enslavement, manipulation, theft, murder, genocide...

Many Olympia area youth, adults, students and families came to the park at 5:00 and peacefully marched to the Capitol where songs were sung and passionate speakers discussed history, the present and the future with open hearts. Campaigns to alter school curriculums regarding Columbus' "heroism" and to push for new legislation for a federal alteration of Columbus Day to Indigenous Day were announced. It was a valuable and high-energy experience that reflects positively on the people that were present: we all know there are problems inherent in the celebration of Columbus' legacy and we mobilized in support of those that Columbus' legacy has displaced. The indigenous people of these lands are still here and still sovereign, still fighting for their (our) lives and destinies.
Mining, radiation, and ongoing genocide 12.Oct.2004 12:10


Mining corporations in Nevada (Shoshone/Paiute) and Arizona (ex. Peabody Coal on Dineh land at Black Mesa) are taking minerals from the Earth and in the process subjecting people to carcinogenic radioactive material, or in the case of Peabody Coal, theft and pollution of Dineh drinking water..

Newe-Sogobia Western Shoshone homeland


The claims of these corporations are they "own" the property, though much of this land is either stolen or gained via corruption in government sectors (BIA) that manipulate one tribe against another (Hopi vs. Dineh). The claim of corporate property ownership is supported by the fallacy of corporate personhood, giving corporations the same rights as living, breathing human beings..

Corporate personhood was initially created to hold corporations responsible for violating the law, examples are pollution and homocidal negligence (coal miners and lung cancer). Through greed and deceit corporate personhood gave corporations the same rights as humans..

Racism towards indigenous people began with Christobal Columbus, so corporations are just a continuation of the colonialist mentality of European imperialists. Increasing awareness from 1492 to the present day holocaust that subjects indigenous people to nuclear waste radiation, corporate mining water pollution and other forms of genocide can open people to look for change in the corporate power structure that enslaves everyone..

Abolishing corporate personhood and reclaiming the land currently destroyed by corporate mining and nuclear waste disposal could begin to put people on a less destructive path. Nobody is born into racist ideology, it is an outcome of being coerced to live in a racist system. By changing this imperialist system we can erase racism from our Madre Tierra..

Here are some pictures form the Olympia event! 12.Oct.2004 12:19

ann o.

Beautiful gathering--if you missed it, you missed it, but here's some pics.

more pics 12.Oct.2004 12:24


more pics

more pics 12.Oct.2004 12:28


more pics

more pics 12.Oct.2004 12:39