Our fifth monthly newsletter from Faith Commons is about immigration, coinciding with the new series on immigration on our podcast: Good God.
The second Monday in October is known traditionally as Columbus Day and more recently as Indigenous People’s Day. The Congressional Research Service states that when Congress made Columbus Day a federal holiday in 1968, it believed that “the nation would be honoring the courage and determination which enabled generations of immigrants from many nations to find freedom and opportunity in America.”
On October 8 of this year, President Biden proclaimed:
“On Indigenous People’s Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.”
Each name reflects truths about this country. Christopher Columbus is a symbol of all those who came to this country believing they would find safe haven for future generations of their families. Indigenous People’s Day is a holiday of repentance, an admission that people or descendants of people who migrated here from other lands have mindlessly and mindfully encroached on the physical, emotional and psychological resources of those who were here before they arrived.