Students talk Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day

Corryn Brock, News Editor

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Across the country states and cities have begun celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day.

States who have made the change most recently include Maine, New Mexico and Louisiana.

Some students shared their views on Columbus Day and making the switch to Indigenous Peoples Day.

Salvador Macias, a freshman music education major, said he was happy to see states making the change.

“Personally, coming from my diverse background and coming from Chicago, I don’t think we should be celebrating it, looking at some states like Maine who just became an ‘Indigenous state.’ That’s pretty cool,” Macias said.

Alora Habor, a senior management information systems major, said she felt the day should not honor Christopher Columbus.

“I feel like we should (celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day) because he didn’t even find stuff; people were already where he was claiming to have found stuff,” Habor said. “I don’t think we should celebrate him at all, and if that means celebrating different people or talking about what actually happened, then that’s fine too, but I don’t think it should be day all for him at all.”

Habor said she feels like Columbus is portrayed in a better light than he should be.

“With the stuff that Columbus did, people paint him like he’s a hero, even though he’s really not,” Habor said.

Savannah Wooten, a freshman music education major, said she is open to Indigenous Peoples Day.   

“I wouldn’t be opposed to (celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day),” Wooten said. “I think having a day celebrating Columbus is probably not really what we want these days, so I would be totally for having an Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Wooten said she can see why some people celebrate Columbus.

“Historically, Columbus is an interesting figure, he could be celebrated in a way for discovering things, but some of the things he did, looking back, were not good,” Wooten said.

Macias said he felt it is time for a change.

“I think we should change our history and not celebrate (Columbus Day) anymore because it’s kind of a bad thing to celebrate if you know your U.S. history,” Macias said.

Jovan Williams, a junior music performance major, said changing the reason for celebration on the day is valid.

“I think it’s really beneficial to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. Facts are facts; they should be represented and celebrated, not some guy that came over on a boat,” Williams said.

Macias said he feels positive change would come from changing the day’s name.

“I think it’s culturally respectful (to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day). We as a country for so long have been racist; we’ve been racist since the U.S. was founded,” Macias said. “I think changing it to Indigenous Peoples Day changes our history into a positive; we always say ‘history is in the past,’ but we still carry things from the past with us today, so I think Indigenous Peoples Day is something to think of to break boundaries and push us in a positive direction.”

Macias said once he learned more about Columbus, he stopped celebrating him.

“If people decide to celebrate it, that’s how they grew up, that’s how they believe but for me the moment I found out about the actual history, it was messed up,” Macias said. “It was just a vacation day for me.”

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]