Oct 17, 2013
Columbus Day is a federal holiday, but some argue that Columbus was far too controversial a figure to continue to be celebrated in 2013. He was neither the first person to “discover” America, nor was he solely an explorer, but also an exploiter of native peoples for his own gain. What do you think? Should Columbus still be celebrated in this way? Tell us in the comments!
Author Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal has written this informative webcomic, detailing some of the issues raised by continuing to celebrate Columbus Day in the United States. According to Inman's resource list: "All of the information in this essay came from A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen, both of which uses primary sources such as eyewitness accounts, journal entries, and letters from Christopher Columbus himself."
Two books recently published by renowned authors, speakers (and brothers!) David Treuer and Anton Treuer are wonderful reads for any Minnesotan. Their work hopes to dispel myths, create positive interactions and most of all, spark conversation about Native American heritage, Minnesota and the United States. Check out David Treuer's Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life and Anton Treuer's Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians but Were Afraid to Ask.
See also Jim Northrup, author of Walking the Rez Road and, his newest book, Rez Salute. Northrup is an Anishinaabe poet, journalist, and he's paying a visit to Birchbark Books this Saturday, October 19th from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.
If you have kids, try pairing Louise Erdrich’s juvenile titles with any historical Minnesota fiction title. If you’re reading Little House in the Big Woods, make Birchbark House the next book you share with your kids.
Finally, find out more about the American Indian Movement, which was formed in Minnesota, and continues to protest, discuss, argue and cajole for Native People. Check out the recently published We are Still Here: A Photographic History of the American Indian Movement. More info about AIM can be found at the Minnesota History Center. (contributed by Amy B.)