Columbus Day - Outdated? - Celebrate Indigenous Filmmakers
Submitted by Kathy Guthrie, FCNL
Stop celebrating Columbus Day! Columbus Day is just 1 week away. On this day responsible citizens take a much needed break from work or school, applaud the parades that march down city streets, and shop "Columbus Day" sales.
Very few get that Columbus day is an outdated holiday that celebrates genocide and slavery. Our country does not celebrate the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War with 50% off sales. School children do not get a day off to commemorate global warming. We certainly don't parade around our streets to celebrate the US history of slavery. So why do we honor a man who once wrote in his journal that the indigenous peoples he first set eyes on would make great slaves????
To this day, public school children are taught about Native American culture and history from the point of view of Euro-American colonialists. Unfortunately this kind of education is extremely biased and untrue. Many of us continue to be bereft of knowledge regarding true Native American history as well as the current lopsided relationship between the US government and Indian Country. This kind of ignorance will be played out in full revelry next week.
I just recently found out that South Dakota is the first and only state to abolish the holiday and instate a Native American day instead. A glimmer of hope!
On October 13th, do what South Dakota does. Deem October 13th a day of remembrance for the Native Americans who have lost their lives and celebrate the strong Native culture that persists today. It would also be a good day to write letters to your representatives and ask them to abolish this foolish holiday. Then write letters to the editor of your newspaper and plea that your community start looking at ways to spend the 3rd Monday of October in more reverent ways (e.g. educate people and urge leaders to respect the sovereignty and rights of Native Americans)
And happy Native American Day.
Labels: Native Americans
posted by Karyn at 10:44 AM
Thanks for speaking out. I was one of the 88 arrested last year in the Denver columbus day protest. It is high time that the truth came to light. It is of my opinion that it is the same ignorance and attitudes that celebrate this day are the very cause us to get stuck in situations as we now are in Iraq. Might seem like a leap to some, but think about it a bit! I encourage all to protest this "holiday" in what ever means possible, or write a letter to the paper of their choice!
Karyn -- Great idea about writing a letter to the editor about Columbus Day -- maybe we should use your blog post here as the kernel of a letter to editors for that day. We should talk :)
Let's go one step further even! Let's all urge our representatives and the presidential candidates to convert Columbus Day to Native American Day! We also need to insist our representatives and the candidates fix the Indian health care system.
Go to http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/ to learn more and to sign the petition. How many of you know that the U.S. Constitution is modeled after the constitution of the Iroquois League of Nations, as well as modeling our three branches of government on the Iroquois.
For more info check http://tuscaroras.com/pages/history/about_iroquois_constitution.html. This is only one thing that we owe a debt of gratitude and our thanks to our Indian compatriots.
A Night To Celebrate Indigenous Filmmakers Of The Americas
When: The Evening of Saturday, October 25th of 2008 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Where: Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027
Price: Women in Film Members $15.00/ Non-WIF members $20.00To purchase tickets: http://www.itsmyseat.com/
For a complete list of films and to learn more about the event go towww.wif.org/calendar More than just a screening, you will experience Indigenous American culture with a reception, music, a fine art exhibit, and special appearances by Danza Azteca Cuauhtemoc, Vox Femina, Miss Blackfoot 2008 and Happy Frejo.
Following the screening will be a Q & A with the filmmakers. This event brings together Indigenous artists from North Central and South American communities in Los Angeles, and is sure to draw a large and diverse crowd.
Rojo Red: Director: Juan Manuel BetancourtA young boy's fascination with his shoe string leads him to unravel the meaning of life.
Lagrimas Del Cafe: Director: Claudia MercadoMeaning tears like coffee, that honors the director's ancestors, specifically her grandmother.Conversion Director: Nanobah BeckerIn the early 1950's, Christian missionaries make a catastrophic visit to a family in the remote, Navajo desert, with unforeseen results.
Telephone Warriors: The Story of the Choctaw Code Talkers Director: Valerie RedhorseIn 1918, not yet citizens of the U.S., Choctaw members of the U.S. American Expeditionary Forces were asked to use their native language as a powerful tool against the German Forces in World War I, setting a precedent for code talking as an effective military weapon and establishing them as America's original Code Talkers.
Xani Xepica: Director: Alejandro DiazWhat it takes to become a man. A young Indian boy tries to prove worthy of his bride.
For The Next Seven Generations: Director: Carol Hart13 Indigenous women elders, shamans and medicine women from around the world, have united as one to share their sacred wisdom and practices. As they travel the globe together, they are shining a bright light on the path to a sustainable world for the next seven generations.
Los Angeles, California
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