20,000 signatures reached
To: Governor Kathy Hochul
Tell Kathy Hochul: Change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day
Recognize Indigenous People's Day as a New York State Holiday.
Why is this important?
The State of New York has the opportunity to correct history with Legislative Bill S8553/A1001 by renaming October 10th as Indigenous People's Day in the State of New York. This is an overdue first step towards recognizing and celebrating Indigenous culture. Indigenous people are not a relic of history, they are still an active part of New York’s culture and communities.
The yearly celebration of Christopher Columbus for his "discovery of the Americas" is painful and a gross distortion of history. Columbus introduced the transatlantic slave trade to the Americas and left behind a violent legacy of the oppression, rape, enslavement, and mass murder of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.
Columbus' legacy and colonialism still harm our communities to this day and should not be celebrated or held up as an authentic or positive representation of "Italian-American heritage".
History books misrepresent the happenstance encounter as a “discovery”. But the reality is that Indigenous peoples throughout the western hemisphere had long called this land their home. Native people paid for -- and continue to pay for -- this encounter with their labor, land and lives, and the ripple effect, across continents and peoples, is reflected in the devastating history of colonization.
We continue to celebrate and acknowledge the millions of Italian Americans who have contributed immensely to US culture and history. All we ask is that we celebrate the rich ancestral tradition of those Italian Americans who were not responsible for a painful legacy of genocide and slavery.
Columbus is not the hero the Italian American community deserves. The great contributions to our state by the Italian American community should be represented by someone among the countless Italian Americans who fought to make life better for others.
This day should be recognized as a celebration of the strength and resiliency of indigenous cultures and peoples who survived Columbus. Native peoples are still very much present in the Americas but struggle against being erased from our history then and now.