Indigenous People’s Day – Plus Free Books!

So, I’ve had a problem with the celebration of Columbus Day ever since grade school when I first figured out that Columbus never set foot anywhere in North America, let alone the part that became the U.S. My disdain for the holiday only grew when I learned that Leif Ericson was actually the first European to land on the continent. Why don’t we have a Leif Ericson Day instead, I wondered. (Actually, we sort of do–October 9. Did you know this? I didn’t until now.)

 

Statue of Leif Erickson which stands in Milwau...

Statue of Leif Ericson in Milwaukee, WI.  He doesn’t look as Vikingy here as he does in many other statues. Interesting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Where was I? Oh yeah. Columbus Day. Like I said, it was the initial logicfail of the holiday that threw me off the bandwagon, but it was discovering more of what Columbus’s explorations began–colonization and genocide–that really got my goat. Like The Oatmeal asks in his latest cartoon, this guy’s worth celebrating?

 

My only problem with the cartoon is that, while I agree that Bartolomé de las Casas was the better man and deserves recognition for what he tried to accomplish once he repented of his earlier ways, by turning Columbus Day into Bartolomé Day, we’d still just be celebrating another dead white guy.

 

Bartolome de las casas

Bartolome de las casas–better than Columbus, but still… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Another dead white guy who, I have to admit, I used as a source while writing my novella “So The Taino Call It.” De las Casas’ book A Short Destruction of the Indies provides a lot of information about what Columbus and the men who came after him did to the original residents they found on the islands they “discovered.” But it is those original residents I think we should really be remembering today. There’s already a name for that holiday: Indigenous People’s Day. What would their lives be like, if the Europeans had never shown up in the first place? Or showed up in peace and humility? We’ll never know, but it’s interesting to think about.

 

In honor of that holiday, how’d you like to win a digital copy (DRM-free) of the anthology Substitution Cipher, a Candlemark & Gleam book that contains several cool alternate history stories of espionage, one of which is my tale of what might have happened if Columbus’s first voyage didn’t go quite as planned? Substitution Cipher also includes G. Miki Hayden’s tale “In God We Trust,” which explores a different historic path the people of North America might have taken.  There are also tales of Berlin, Venice, World War II, and the Cold War. It’s a neat collection. Comment on this post here and I’ll pick a random winner by next Monday.

 

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Millie Ketcheschawno, filmmaker, organizer and activist for Native American rights; she was one of the founders of the first Indigenous People's Day (still an annual event) in the U.S. 1937-2000

Millie Ketcheschawno, filmmaker, organizer and activist for Native American rights; she was one of the founders of the first Indigenous People’s Day (still an annual event) in the U.S. 1937-2000

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Indigenous People’s Day – Plus Free Books!

  1. Shay

    Oh, hey, that book sounds really cool. I would love to see what alt-history people came up with.
    And thank you for calling attention to Indigenous People’s Day.

  2. Let’s make it a coin-flip, at the least? 😀

  3. Pingback: Monday Morning Music | M. Fenn

  4. Craig B. Agricola

    Oh, alternative historic fiction, especially when mixed with anything crypto (as suggested by the title) are smack-dab in the middle of my weak spot! I’d love to be in the running to be gifted a copy!

  5. Pingback: Substitution Cipher Winner! | M. Fenn

  6. Pingback: Pressing Matters: October 18, 2013, Edition | Candlemark & Gleam

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