Many have learned the phrase, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”. But Columbus was not the first foreign explorer to land in the Americas, and neither he nor those who came before him discovered America—because Indigenous Peoples have populated the Western Hemisphere for tens of thousands of years.
Celebrating Columbus and other explorers like him dismisses the devastating losses experienced by Indigenous Peoples of the Western Hemisphere in the past and the ongoing effects of colonialism today.
In 2019, joined by Wabanaki tribal leaders and representatives, Governor Janet Mills signed legislation to establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Maine. It is now celebrated on the second Monday of October recognizing the resilience and diversity of Indigenous Peoples instead of honoring Columbus.
Now we ask ourselves, what does it mean to honor Indigenous People? See below for resources for educators, parents, and those in the education community.
Local Impact (Dawnland specific)
Global Impact (all Indigenous)
|Fact sheet/article||Who are indigenous peoples?|
|Statement/declaration||United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples|
|Publication||The Role of Indigenous Peoples in Biodiversity Conservation|
|Lesson Plan||Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IllumiNative)|
|Article||Indigenous storytellers share scary stories and the wisdom they hold (CBC)|
|Video||Indigenous Peoples’ Day | All About the Holidays (PBS)|
|Video||The word Indigenous — explained l CBC Kids News|
|Sample lesson plans||Lesson Plans (Whose Land)||3 lesson plans: k-5, middle, high school|
|Article||Cultural Appropriation: What’s an Educator’s Role? (PBS Teachers Lounge)|
Why not Columbus Day?
|Collection/case study||Abolish Columbus Day: Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples (Zinn Education Project)|
|Article/lesson preview||The People vs.|
|Handout||Unlearning Columbus Day Myths: Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day|
|Article||Why more people are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day | PBS NewsHour|