Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that was first brought up in 1977 at the United Nations conference. This holiday was brought up as a movement against the falsehood that Italian explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America.
The idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was also brought up as a means to combat the prejudice against Indigenous people. This is a very important holiday for multiple reasons, and Christians do not need to turn a deaf ear to this holiday.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day marks a day to celebrate the beauty, the culture, and the uniqueness of Indigenous People.
Understanding Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Similar to many people, as a child, I was taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. This is not true as there were already people in America before Christopher Columbus landed on American soil. A person cannot discover a new land if other people already call it home.
The Native Americans were already in America prior to Christopher Columbus coming to America. In this way, we see that America already belonged to the Indigenous people, and Europeans took their home away from them.
As previously mentioned, most of us learn about Christopher Columbus in school; however, we are not often taught about the wicked side of the story. Christopher Columbus was extremely mean to the Indigenous people because of his own racism and hatred of different people groups.
He persecuted the Indigenous people, not to mention the Europeans brought sicknesses to the Indigenous people, which killed a majority of them.
As we can see, the Indigenous people were forced out of their homes, persecuted, and killed simply because an explorer wanted to declare America to be his own “discovery.”
From these vital truths, most of us can recognize that Christopher Columbus was not a good person. He did not have a positive view of the Indigenous people and wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth.
During the times of Columbus’s voyages and life, colonialism was all too common. Even though it was common, it doesn’t mean it was right.
We need to be aware of the true history of this event because it can help us better understand what the Indigenous people went through as well as what many of them continue to go through.
Even though we are taught one version of history in school, it is important for us to know the truth. Indigenous people have been oppressed for a long time, and the holiday of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a day that can right this wrong.
There has been talk about removing Christopher Columbus Day altogether from our calendar and only having Indigenous Peoples’ Day as this day’s holiday.
At the present time, both of these holidays fall on the same day; however, hopefully, with time, more people will see the errors of keeping Christopher Columbus Day as a real holiday since he oppressed the Indigenous people.
The Importance of Christians Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Since we now understand Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it is important for us to know the importance of celebrating this beautiful holiday. As Christians, we should celebrate this holiday. It is a remarkable holiday that celebrates the Indigenous people and gives honor to them.
Many people believe oppression towards Indigenous people only happened in the past, yet it still continues into the present day. The government sadly still oppresses Indigenous people in many ways, such as taking away their reservations or forcing them to own only land in selected areas.
By knowing this, it is not surprising why many Indigenous people are still hesitant to trust the government as well as others.
As Christians, we need to love all people and celebrate their unique culture. There is nothing wrong or “sinful” about celebrating the Indigenous people and their culture. God created all people in His image (Genesis 1:27).
This means that all people are created in God’s image, whether female or male, what color skin they have, or what culture they grew up in. All people are created by God, and all people are dearly loved by God.
The Lord goes against all forms of racism because He created each of us and has declared us beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-16).
The oppression that has been on the backs of the Indigenous people is because of racism. As Christians, we need to fight against racism and not allow its teachings to prevail. While the world has made many strides in going against prejudice and racism, it is still present today.
Often, people believe racism only goes against a certain skin color; however, any person of any skin color can be persecuted, including the Indigenous people. It is for this reason that they were driven out of their land by the Europeans and had to leave their own homelands.
When we reflect on our country’s past, we cannot ignore the bloodshed, illnesses, and death that came with it. It is impossible to say America was founded on faith, truth, and liberty.
If anything, it was founded on hate, prejudice, and racism. America has come a long way from its genesis; however, we cannot neglect to apologize and make up for the mistakes of the past.
A huge part of apologizing and making things right with the Indigenous people is to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a holiday as well as to give them proper honor every day of the year.
The families of the Indigenous people had to undergo horrible persecution by Europeans when they were colonizing America, and we cannot turn a deaf ear to their cry. Some might argue that the present-day Indigenous people did not have to undergo this harsh treatment, yet this is not true.
The Indigenous people, even today, are still having to face racism and prejudice every day. The oppression that the Indigenous people face needs to end because they are equal. Nobody is better than anyone else because of their background, socioeconomic class, or skin color.
We are all equal at the foot of Christ. The Apostle Paul tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
Just as Paul tells us, we are all equal. Everyone needs to keep this in mind every day of the year, not just on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
God wants us to love all people and treat everyone the same because this is how He treats us. There is no room for hate, oppression, or racism in the life of a Christian. There only needs to be love, support, and justice.
God talks a lot in the Bible about justice for the oppressed, and the situation with the Indigenous people is no exception. God wants us to stand up for them and advocate for their honor. He does not want us to be passive or to be indifferent to these matters.
The Lord died for all people because He loves all people. This means that He died for the Indigenous people, too, because He loves them.
Why We Should All Be Celebrating
Therefore, as believers, we need to stand up and advocate for the honor of the Indigenous people, as well as we need to celebrate the holiday of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
It is the least we can do for all of the oppression they endured at the hands of our country. As Christians, we need to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in order to honor their uniqueness, culture, and the things they went through to get to where they are today.
The Indigenous people are a beautiful people group created by God, and we need to celebrate them as they deserve. With Indigenous Peoples’ Day coming up, it is time to start advocating for and honoring Indigenous people.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
God commands us to show love to our neighbors and all people. Read more here.
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