Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, renamed to celebrate the peoples whose ancestors were here before Europeans instead of honoring the sadistic explorer/conquered who is erroneously given credit for discovering this continent. More cities and states have switched to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, so the momentum is building. Eventually this trend will engulf the majority of the nation.
This trend is long overdue. Native Americans were brutalized and conquered by Europeans and pushed onto reservations on the worst land by Americans. Their rebellions up to the 19th century and their protest at Wounded Knee in the 1960s were put down and their concerns ignored. The white majority has kept bragging about the conquest in motion pictures and history books until recently. Progress has been like pulling teeth. In addition to jurisdictions celebrating indigenous peoples’ day, parades for the conquered have been stopped in some cities, but we have a long way to do go until Native Americans get the respect they deserve. It certainly did not help that Pope Frances slapped them in the face by sanctifying the the abusive Father Junipero Serra.
Respect is just the beginning. When will we stop desecrating their burial grounds and undo the injustice done to them? Letting them live in poverty in reservations on the worst land and blaming them for their problems is NOT justice.