By Tawny Cale
In all seriousness, how do you celebrate Columbus Day? Do you take advantage of a big mattress sale? Do you walk into a random person’s home, set up shop, rob and exploit them?
What’s that? Oh, you don’t celebrate. Unless you are part of the problematically named Knights of Columbus, chances are Columbus Day means absolutely nothing to you. In fact, besides the sing-song “Back in 1492,” you probably don’t ever give much thought to Columbus.
But Indigenous People of the Americas do. Seeing the name pop up on the calendar every year is a stark reminder that upholding American mythology is more important than the actual history. More important than recognizing how today’s struggles that our communities face are the direct result of colonization and attempted genocide.
Now, Google is free so I will not lecture you with the laundry list of atrocities committed by Columbus and his men that were sanctified by the Doctrine of Discovery. But 500+ years later, we know and can do better. It’s time to shift the narrative perspective and amplify the voices that have been silenced or talked over. Let’s celebrate the contributions, resiliency, and beauty of your Indigenous neighbors, friends, and relatives.
Please join me in emailing or calling your legislators today and ask them to support SB 141. Mitakuye Oyasin. We are all related.
Tawny Cale is an enrolled citizen of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and a resident of Great Falls, MT.
Read SB 141 here: https://leg.mt.gov/bills/2023/billpdf/SB0141.pdf