It is time to stop celebrating the crimes of Columbus and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous people who demand an end to Columbus Day.
Instead of glorifying a person who enslaved and murdered people, destroyed cultures, and terrorized those who challenged his rule, we seek to honor these communities demanding sovereignty, recognition, and rights.
Below we provide information and resources.
Teaching Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Whose History Matters? Students Can Name Columbus, But Most Have Never Heard of the Taíno People
Columbus’s treatment of the Taíno people meets the UN definition of genocide. But there has also been a curricular genocide — erasing the memory of the Taíno from our nation’s classrooms.
How else can we explain students’ universal recognition of Columbus and almost total ignorance of the name Taíno?
As we work to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in our communities and schools, let’s work to remember the people who were here first. Their lives mattered 500 years ago, and they matter today.
Abolish Columbus Day Campaign and Mapping Project
We encourage schools to petition their administration and communities to introduce legislation to rename Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. To support that project, we provide information and resources in our campaign to Abolish Columbus Day.
We also track communities’ successes in our interactive map, where you can explore the states, cities, towns, and schools where Columbus Day has been abolished and/or Indigenous Peoples’ Day was adopted.
Teach Climate Justice
The climate crisis threatens our students’ lives. And yet, throughout the United States, schools have failed to put the climate at the center of the curriculum.
To address the gulf between the climate emergency and schools’ inadequate response, the Zinn Education Project offers classroom-tested lessons, workshops for educators, and a sample school board climate justice resolution.
Below, find more recommended resources to teach about Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the history of Christopher Columbus.