Despite the Onion-esque photo of Tom West, editor and general manager of the Morrison County Record that accompanies We can do better than ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’, it's not copy ripped from the satirical site.
West seems to be quite serious in writing copy like this:
The Minneapolis City Council was expected to consider a motion Friday, to change the name of “Columbus Day” to “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
I don’t have any great affection for Christopher Columbus, but I have long thought that we ought to call our holidays for what they are. That means, call them the way most Americans celebrate them.
That being the case, it would mean, change “Columbus Day” to “Duck Hunting Day.” . . .
I kind of like the idea of changing it to “Pioneer Day.” When one thinks of the tremendous challenges involved in conquering two continents that were mostly wilderness, it took a tough-minded group of people willing to risk all in order to overcome more obstacles than most of us modern-day sissies care to take on. I mean, not only did they have no health insurance, they had no health care. When the banks went belly up, there was nobody to save the economy. At night, instead of watching “Dancing with the Stars,” they sat under the stars, slapping mosquitoes. . . .
My concern is that the politically correct crowd that dominates the Minneapolis City Council has something else in mind. They may claim that the reason to have an “Indigenous Peoples Day” is to pay long overdue respect to the people we used to call Native Americans until somebody realized that they were here long before we called this hemisphere “America.”
However, they could do so without knocking Columbus out of the history books, if they wanted to. Instead, it seems like the idea is to make the rest of us indigenous people, whose families may have shown up near the meeting of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers only 150 years ago, feel guilty, like maybe we shouldn’t be here.
Sorry, but as an indigenous Minnesotan, I don’t feel guilty about calling this state “home.” . . .
Yes, dude, it's all about you and your feelings. Go to the MCR and read the whole hot mess.
For the backstory on the name change, check out Indian Country Today's Minneapolis Replaces Columbus Day With Indigenous Peoples Day:
After unanimous City Council and mayor approval of a resolution today, Minneapolis will now recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day on the second Monday of October.
“This act recognizes and celebrates the Native people who still live on this land and will foster stronger relationships moving forward,” Mayor Betsy Hodges toldKMSP-TV. “I am grateful to the community for organizing to make this a reality and am honored to sign this resolution, something I promised last summer I would.”
The idea of Indigenous Peoples Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native nations attending a United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, held in Geneva. . . .
Minneapolis joins states like Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and South Dakota, which don't celebrate Columbus Day at all.
In fact, Columbus Day isn't an official state holiday in Minnesota,either. The state judicial branch gives the day after Thanksgiving off instead, while the Minnesota office of Management and Budget doesn't list it on the State Holiday Schedule at all.
However, Minneapolis is following the lead set by South Dakota, which celebrates Native American Day (the Wikipedia entry for Indigenous Peoples' Day treats the terms as synonyms) on the second Monday in October.
The Rapid City Journal reported in South Dakota celebrates Native American Day:
. . .The state Legislature in 1989 approved the change proposed by then-Gov. George Mickelson. South Dakota is the only state that celebrates Native American Day on Columbus Day.
"He spent his life in South Dakota and he knew the Native American population was a significant part of the state," Mark Mickelson, son of the late governor, told the American News (http://bit.ly/RpXbm4 ). "It was a way to let them know he was serious about reconciliation."
Bureau of Indian Affairs attorney Dani Daugherty, who grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, said Native American Day is a time to recognize the resiliency and the contributions of native peoples.
"Not only did we survive horrific treatment, loss of land, culture, buffalo and sacred sites, but we are here contributing as citizens," she said. "Our story is a story of positive change. It is a great thing what Gov. Mickelson did. He recognized the rich cultural resource that we are." . . .
So Mr. West can shake his fist in the direction of Minneapolis, but if he wants to double his unhappiness about having a sad, he might try visiting South Dakota in early October.
Photo: Grumpy cat Tom West apparently doesn't like having sad thoughts.
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