PEORIA (WEEK) — More than 15 states in the U.S. observe Oct. 12 as the holiday, Indigenous People’s Day. However, Illinois still recognizes it as Christopher Columbus day.
Cultural arts educator and presenter, Garry Moore says there are two Christopher Columbus’s. One which was taught as a hero and the other that’s being found out about.
"(Christopher Columbus) Did many atrocities to the Tainos and Arawak Indians. Hanging them, cutting off their hands, taking some of them as slaves," said Moore.
Moore added that it wasn’t about taking away the holiday, but changing how it’s celebrated.
"We as a society of educators need to decide what are we going to teach our children," said Moore.
19-year-old student, Megan Rahn, came up with a way to try and solve that issue.
Rahn outlined a plan with guidelines and recommendations for teachers on how they should educate children about Christopher Columbus and other racial issues.
"Maybe instead of giving children coloring pages of Christopher Columbus shaking hands with Native Americans, because that’s not what happened, instead explain to the students in obviously a mild way, but in a truthful way of what took place," said Rahn.
Rahn is studying to become a teacher and emphasized the importance of showing all sides of history, that don’t just benefit one culture.
"If we’re going to have days like this we have to be truthful about what that day actually means," said Rahn.
Local governments like Peoria County do not recognize Christopher Columbus day. Changing the holiday for the whole state would require legislation to go through congress.
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October 12, 2020 at 07:13AM