The anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas is here. Today marks Columbus Day, a national holiday celebrating the Italian explorer who “sailed the ocean blue” more than 500 years ago. In observance, most federal offices, banks and post offices will be closed today. The holiday comes with much controversy. In Hawaii, the second Monday in October is known as Discoverers’ Day. Similarly, several towns celebrate Indigenous People’s Day instead to honor the Native Americans that were killed during European colonialism. Cities replacing Columbus Day include Denver, Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and Albuquerque and the entire states of South Dakota and Alaska.
Here in Wisconsin, we now officially are celebrating indigenous people, Governor Tony Evers signed an order naming the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day to recognize and appreciate tribal nations and indigenous people and their contributions to our state. Evers says it’s important to read about the significance of native-nation sovereignty, culture and history.