But yet we seem to still celebrate historical inaccuracies.
Yes, Columbus in 1492 sailed the ocean blues. But was he the first to "discover" America?
No he was not.
The Vikings ( Not the Minnesota NFL team) were know to have settled in the New World some 400 years prior to Christopher Columbus arriving in the Bahamas.
But honestly, how do you "discover" a place where people already live in?
This to me, is still a puzzling notion. So puzzling that the best way to address it is through stand up comedy brought you by Eddie Griffin.
You might ask yourself, so why is land so important to the indigenous people?
Well, because taking land away from indigenous people is taking their existence. Because land is sacred to the indigenous. Its not just a physical space, it is also a spiritual space, a cultural space that they call their own. Peruvian Indigenous leader, Santiago Manuin said it best "The indigenous exists because of their territory".
And it's because of acts like the one that happened in Bagua, that its important that we acknowledge the historical inaccuracies around Christopher Columbus. Should we really be celebrating a man, who enslaved, murdered indigenous people all in the name of religion and prestige?
All around the world, countries are opting to celebrate Indigenous People Day, instead of Christopher Columbus Day. The question is why aren't we?
I like to leave you with a poem i wrote last year titled "Indigenous People Day". I hope the poem inspires you to question why we still celebrate Columbus Day. Because i can't find any reasons why we still do.
Indigenous People Day Poem
by Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria
Today 518 years ago a man got lost
And found a ticket to fame
se persigno con la santa maria, la niña y la pinta
and left with god
towards the end of his world
lost years of human life
All to discover nothing.
landed on occupied land
and stole it
and called it HIS PA NIO LA
All in the name of the holy 1st world
he placed the blade on each side of their shoulders
anointed the soldiers metal
and declare holy war
treated natives as cattle
slaughtered butchered, conquered
it doesn't matter what noun you use
massacre still has the same effect.
and he continued on...
in the name of precious metal and spices
to give them diseases
inject them with greed and rabies
expose them to a religion that
and he continued on...
erased their way of life by force
enforced their ways
brick by brick
layer by layer
until their buildings replaced ours
hoping we forget
but we havent..
518 years and counting..
we have been speaking
you never chose to listen..
u gave us second class citizenship
yet you never chose to listen
you called our meeting a cultural exchange
but you never chose to listen
you gave us names because you couldnt pronounce ours
and you are still not listening
so we keep speaking
we keep asking...
Why do we build statues,
for a man who got lost and discovered nothing?