The nationally-recognized federal holiday of Columbus Day is meant to highlight Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and his 1492 arrival to America. However, the holiday has erased the legacy and history of Indigenous Americans or American Indians who were here long before the invaders came and Twitter’s “Native Americans” trending topic has cropped up in support of that group for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
While the term “Native Americans” is widely used, some groups prefer to be named by their tribe, or the terms American Indian, it is generally understood that the term is reverential. Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is different from Native American Day celebrated in California and Tennessee on Columbus Day, honors Indigenous Americans and their culture.
It is celebrated on the second Monday in October much like Columbus Day, and some states and locations across the nation officially recognize it as a holiday. It was a countering celebration of the holiday that preceded it, as many Indigenous Americans feel that Columbus’ arrival to the shores of America meant the doom and destruction of their way of life in many notable regards.
Some Latin American countries also celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and in Canada as well, all recognizing the cultural contribution of indigenous groups the world over. The Smithsonian Museum’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. has collected a trove of historical artifacts and houses contributions from indigenous peoples across the nation and the globe.
From Twitter, we’ve collected some of the responses under the Native Americans trending topic for viewing below. For more information about Indigenous Peoples’ Day, follow this informative hashtag here: #IndigenousPeoplesDay.