Native American Students Present Anti-Columbus Day
Byline: Rebecca Woolington The Register-Guard
Carina Miller sat at a table in front of the University of Oregon's Erb Memorial Union amphitheater handing out one-way tickets to Europe that read, "Homeland Security: Fighting Terrorism Since 1492."
The intended message? Get people to consider their indigenous roots and imagine the world without Columbus Day.
Miller, a 22-year-old UO senior and co-director of the Native American Student Union, was participating in an anti-Columbus Day demonstration to educate students about what Columbus Day represents for many indigenous people. Monday's daylong event, organized by the Native American Student Union, was a protest against colonization that included information tables, music and speakers.
Columbus Day, designating the date that the Italian explorer first landed on American soil, became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1906 and a federal holiday in 1934. Americans have celebrated Columbus' voyage since the colonial period, however - and protests against the anniversary of Columbus' arrival also date to at least the 19th century.
At the UO event, signs reading "Boycott Columbus Day" and "You are on Indian Land" prompted many to stop at the information tables to inquire why the group was protesting.
"To come to a university, so progressive and liberal, and to have students ask why we are doing this makes the protest much more empowering," Miller said. …