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Goodbye Columbus, Hello New York's First Indigenous Peoples Parade

Lisa DuBois | NYS, United States

Organization: SDN

The first Indigenous Peoples day parade was held in New York in October of 2022 . Native Americans and Indigenous people from all over the United States march for their rights as the first people of America, honor the ancestors and express their pride in Native culture.

For the first time in the history of New York City, a parade took place to celebrate Indigenous and Native American people. Every year, dozens of parades are held in New York; each parade commemorates the independence and cultural expression of a specific country.

Native Americans have never participated in independence parades because they have never been independent of a government that has been imposed upon them since the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Indigenous communities suffered greatly and the resulting trauma would last for generations. Between 1776 and today, the United States seized over 1.5 billion acres from North America's native peoples.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Columbus Day a national holiday in 1934. As more people reject the view of Christopher Columbus as a hero and instead look at historical evidence, the practice of celebrating Columbus Day has become more divisive.

Today, many people prefer to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.As honest education about the history of the country becomes more common, Columbus Day will morph into Italian heritage parade and Indigenous people’s day will grow.   

LisaDuBois sdn.lisa.dubois@gmail.com<>

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