Monday, October 10 Is Indigenous Peoples Day
Let's just get right to the elephant in the room, shall we? Columbus Day is the day we've long set aside to celebrate the historical "discovery" of the new world. While it has been celebrated in the United States since 1792, first pushed into creation by the people behind the true story of the Gangs of New York movie... super interesting history there... the USA isn't alone in this celebration.
Columbus Day is celebrated throughout the Americas and Europe. Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, most of the Caribbean counties, Spain, Italy, even Canada celebrates Columbus Day... but it's not without its shenanigans.
For nearly fifty years there has been a movement to shun the celebration of Columbus over the atrocities the Italian explorer committed in the name of Spain. In 1970s, talk began about the idea to rename and rebrand the national holiday to honor the indigenous populations that have suffered in the new world. In the 90s, these efforts became Indigenous Peoples Day.
Over the last thirty years, plenty of states and metropolitan cities across the United States have opted to embrace Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day, though some celebrate both.
As it stands, Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Oklahoma officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in one way or another... For instance, in Oklahoma, it's called Native Americans Day.
While I'd like to encourage you to get out and learn about our state, the people, the history, the tribes, and different cultures year round, if it takes a holiday to get you started down that path of learning new and interesting things, October 10th is the perfect starting date.
There is a place you can go to learn about Oklahoma and its native culture relatively near pretty much everywhere in the state, but you should get out of your comfort zone and explore some truly interesting history. Indigenous history is both American and Oklahoma history. Here are some places to visit located near you.