As we write, we are witnessing an inspiring struggle playing out in North Dakota as Indigenous people and allies are attempting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Dave Archambault, chairperson of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, stated, “This is a corporation that is coming forward and just bulldozing through without any concern for tribes.” The “bulldozing” of Indigenous lives, Indigenous lands, and Indigenous rights all began with Columbus’s invasion in 1492.
It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day. Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights. We encourage schools to petition their administration and for communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Below is information and resources to join the campaign to Abolish Columbus Day.
By Bill Bigelow
When the school curriculum celebrates Columbus, children are taught that it’s OK for white people to rule over peoples of color and that militarily powerful nations can bully weaker nations. By his own account, Columbus enslaved people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule. It’s time to abolish Columbus Day. Continue reading.
|Abolish Columbus Day Packet (PDF)
Sample resolutions, resources, and articles
|Related Lessons and Resources|
Sixth grade students in the Plattsburg, New York School District led a campaign to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Here are the steps they took:
|Suzanne Caruso, middle school teacher
|Students wrote a letter to the principal, hosted an all-school meeting with local Indigenous leader Annawon Weeden, and had members of the community sign a petition asking the state of Massachusetts as well as city of Cambridge to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. “What started as a debate turned into an opportunity for students to expand their thinking and serve as agents of change in their communities.”|
|Laura Farrelly, high school teacher
|Students wrote letters to the editors of local newspapers and the city council. One letter got published inspiring others to write. “It was a powerful lesson in civics especially since my students are disenfranchised and feel like they don’t have power to effect change politically.”|
|Matthew Venditti, 8th grade teacher, Amherst, MA||The town of Amherst’s decision to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day was inspired by a proposal from 8th grade students from Amherst Regional Middle School. Students in Matthew Venditti’s social studies class studied and discussed the issue in Fall 2015, and then some interested students formed a group called Student Advocates for Change. They encouraged the town of Amherst to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, presented their arguments twice to the town’s Human Rights Commission, invited State Rep. Ellen Story to hear their arguments, presented to the regional school committee, and finally made a presentation to Amherst Town Meeting on May 18, 2016, which is the date Town Meeting approved the change. [Description by the Amherst Education Foundation.]|
Find where Columbus Day has been abolished and pending resolutions. To add a location, click the + button in the top right-hand corner.
Help spread the word. Click on each image to view larger file, save, and publish.
Switch Your Facebook Profile
Download graphic and switch in.
Download graphic and post.
Download and print.
Donate to receive bulk quantities of stickers to share.
Download and print or post.