Once upon a time in the United States of America, there was a holiday called Columbus Day. It was a day to honor the man who so-called “discovered” the Americas, and it was all a sham. Columbus was, in fact, a horrible person, who saw the generosity and friendliness of the Native Americans he encountered as an invitation to dominate them. A person who perpetrated disease and slaughter onto the people who already lived in the places he supposedly discovered. A person who promised his bosses back in Spain gold and slaves in exchange for more ships and men. A person who has long been celebrated and lauded as a hero to America. In fact, most people raised in American schools can easily name the three ships he “sailed the ocean blue” with. (Howard Zinn wrote a great article about the real Christopher Columbus: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/the-real-christopher-columbus/)
Fortunately, as the US has gained more self-awareness about its own history, fewer and fewer folks think that Columbus Day is a valid National Holiday, and have supplanted it with Indigenous People’s Day, a day to honor and celebrate Native Americans and commemorates their shared history and culture. Indigenous People’s Day started in South Dakota in 1989, and is now celebrated across the United States. There are still only three states that don’t celebrate Columbus Day at all (yay, Oregon!), but many states and cities have adopted Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday of October.
Our Indigenous People’s Day colorway was created after a deep Google dive of images of Native American Regalia. There were so many gorgeous and inspiring pieces to choose from, but we decided on a more traditional color scheme.
We hope you’ll spend the day knitting with this gorgeous yarn, and thinking about ways America can do better in regards to its Native population. A few organizations that are going good works include:
- Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: https://www.standingrock.org/
- Partnership with Native Americans: http://www.nativepartnership.org
- The Association on American Indian Affairs: https://www.indian-affairs.org
- Native American Rights Fund: https://www.narf.org
- National Indian Child Care Association: https://www.nicca.us