TiyospayeNow: Goodbye, Columbus

By Jacqueline Keeler

I sent my son to school on what would have been a holiday called
Columbus Day when I was his age.  I checked the school district website several times to be sure, but yes, it was just a normal school day. Despite being an "Indian”, as he called us, the sudden disappearance of a holiday dedicated to him left me feeling conflicted.  As a child, when I first heard the rhyme, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” in kindergarten I had been deeply moved by the image of him braving the unknown in
his small, wooden boat wearing a skirt and tights with high heels, willing to possibly sail off the edge of the world into the unknown assisted only by a crew of mutinous sailors who lost faith in him and were preparing to throw him overboard just as land was sighted.
  
It was my mother, a Navajo, who helped me understand more fully what Christopher Columbus meant… More

"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light." —Linda Hogan

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