Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples Day was formed in solidarity with Native peoples across Massachusetts who are advocating for the passage of legislation that would rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day in the Commonwealth. We believe that a holiday that celebrates the resilience of Indigenous peoples is far more truthful and uplifting than one that honors a man whose legacy is characterized by conquest, slavery, and genocide.

Some Italian Americans assert that Columbus Day is at its core a celebration of our heritage, and that changing the name would be akin to erasing our history. We believe that any association with Christopher Columbus diminishes our culture and does not honor the struggles of our ancestors who, throughout the late 19th and much of the 20th century, were widely reviled and considered racially inferior.

We have so much. We don’t need Columbus Day.

Despite profound discrimination, economic exploitation, and even violence, our ancestors successfully assimilated into mainstream American culture while also safeguarding our traditions and family bonds. Because of their heroic efforts, Italian Americans are now celebrated in this country. In Massachusetts, October is officially recognized as Italian American Heritage month. There are vibrant neighborhoods in cities across the country where we can go to be immersed in our ancestral food, language, and traditions. Our religious holidays are national holidays. We can turn on the television, pick up a book, or enter a voting booth and expect that our people will be represented.

The erasure of Indigenous peoples continues today.

While Italian Americans now enjoy recognition and status in this country, these are not privileges afforded to Native peoples. Studies have shown that they are essentially invisible in our society. This perception is caused by racial stereotypes that dehumanize them; white Americans’ lack of interaction with them; biased history taught in schools (like Columbus “discovered” America); and insufficient curricula on past and present Indigenous cultures. For many Native peoples, the celebration of a man responsible for the genocide of their ancestors is another painful reminder of the ways in which they continue to be made invisible.

We honor our ancestors by honoring Indigenous Peoples.

By observing Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the diverse histories and cultures of this land’s First Peoples and their many contributions to modern society. We correct false histories, begin to make amends for past atrocities, and support Indigenous struggles for justice. We also honor our own ancestors who sacrificed so much to make a place for us here, and we follow the example of the many Italian Americans who fought for labor rights, LGBTQ rights, gender equality, and human rights.

Help us build a coalition of Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples Day!
Native peoples have been advocating for the renaming of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day since the 1970s. It’s time that Massachusetts follow the example of Maine, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, and South Dakota that rightfully honor this land’s First Peoples in place of Christopher Columbus.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.