As I close my eyes and drift away to a land where there is love, health, peace and blessings. I wanted to take the time to think and reflect.
The truth is that on October 14th 2019 it was Canadian Thanksgiving as well as Columbus Day in America. Columbus Day is set aside marking the explorations of the Americas by Christopher Columbus. Individuals find this day to be celebratory and problematic. Millions of Indigenous peoples were living upon these lands before the expeditions of Columbus even took place. Which is why Indigenous Peoples Day is also celebrated. This years celebration took me back to my previous writings where I wrote about, Christopher Columbus as related to colonization. I later reflected, added some additional research with regards to Indigenous history.
Today as I write my emotions are evoked once more. This time I wondered that if Italy and Italian history is celebrated, that so should Spains. After all they are the ones who financed Columbus' trip. Having said that we are further inclined to understand the Spanish links with this history and expedition. And even as Indigenous Peoples Day is marked, we can wonder: who is included as Indigenous, or who are / were the first people on the Americas? What about the Mestizo, Spanish Indigenous, are they included as well? When we ask questions like this, we realize whose history and which history is being preserved.
Even if we think about Columbus as discovering America, the Americas that he did explore were "San Salvador (in modern-day Bahamas) and claimed by Spain (the country that had sponsored his voyage)," ("Columbus Day and Its Discontents," n.d.) and "a small area of the Caribbean - which. included the Bahamas, Cuba, and Jamaica - and parts of Central America." ("5 Unbelievable Facts About Christopher Columbus," n.d.) So Whist Christopher Columbus was an Italian Colonist, we are left to wonder how his established European settlements, caused a strain upon his relations with Spain. Later a Spanish Missionary arrived also expressing a dislike to the treatment of the natives. As we recognize Columbus, who was integral to the formation of European Settlements, we wonder how history such as this should be celebrated when millions were hurt, injured, killed and even held captive.