I had an hour before class, so I decided to take a short walk in the fall sun in this, the land of the Dakota peoples. On the way I met an older man holding a newspaper, and he stopped in front of me — wearing a mask, of course, and 2 meters away from me. He said, “It’s Columbus Day! They’re tearing down statues in Portland!” He seemed distressed.
I was going to say, “Good. Portland is in many ways a progressive city, and I’m pleased that they’re acting to address injustices. Columbus was a genocidal monster who enslaved and tortured and murdered native people, and we should all be tearing down the statues and the myths of our nation that have so far honored mainly cruelty and oppression.”
Unfortunately, I am unable to say that in Anishinaabemowin, which would be the most appropriate language to use, so I just gave him a thumbs up and walked around him.
A remorseful Indigenous Peoples’ Day to all my fellow colonizers! Take a moment to think about the true history of the land you’re living in!
We are a NASNTI (Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institution) with 24% of our students being Native American. Our state’s name comes from the Dakota people’s name for their homelands – Mni Sota Makoce – ‘the land where the waters reflect the skies’.
— University of Minnesota Morris (@UMNMorris) October 12, 2020