Name change, game change

The city of Seattle’s re-designation of Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day is a step in the right direction, but it can’t be the last step.

Christopher Columbus was a homicidal, ruthless tyrant who should be condemned for his brutality, rather than celebrated.

The majority of people may feel indifferent to this name change, but this week’s decision acts as an important validation of the suffering of Native Americans. Even though it’s considered simply symbolic, it’s an important step to take to remedy history, and indicates that these are changes worth making.

But this can’t simply be a name change. Now that this precedent has been set, it must be accompanied with education to set right the skewed perception of history that nationalism has caused.

Although this change is taking place in the United States, it has direct implications on Canada’s Indigenous community.

When the Europeans settled in North America, no distinction was made between Canadian and American Indigenous people. Both groups faced brutality, making this a victory for the Indigenous people of Canada, as well.

Indigenous issues are far more prominent in Canada than in the U.S. Canada doesn’t necessarily have an equivalent re-designation that could take place, but it’s important to reflect on this change and to see what changes our own nation can make, semantically or otherwise.

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