Hi friends! Today, most of the United States is observing Columbus Day, and there are a lot of businesses and institutions that have closed for the day. However, I’m interested in the states and groups of people that have chosen to claim this day as one to honor indigenous people: the individuals who were negatively impacted by “explorers” who landed in North America hundreds of years ago.
In my research, I found out about Discoverer’s Day, which honors the Polynesian explorers that first landed on the Hawaiian islands. The state of Hawaii does not formally recognize Discoverer’s Day but I think it is a creative way to honor Polynesian culture as well as to distance the date from Columbus’s legacy.
There are some groups that would like to further refine the name of the day, so that it more accurately reflects the original inhabitants of the islands. One group is pushing for the title “Indigenous People’s Day” to honor the early Hawaiian inhabitants. It’ll be interesting to see what changes will happen when it comes to recognizing the indigenous people of the Hawaiian islands, as well as indigenous populations worldwide.
In the meantime, I am enjoying this Discoverer’s Day and I hope you all do the same. Take care!