Christopher Columbus

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This is What Native Americans Think of Christopher Columbus

There is nothing to celebrate about Christopher Columbus.

When the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus reached the shores of the Americas in 1492, it was by accident. He had been commissioned by the Spanish crown to find a passage to the East Indies, en route to a lucrative spice trade with Asia.

This chance encounter brought a lot more misfortune to the native inhabitants of the Americas than the current misnomer. In 1493, Columbus returned with a force of 17 ships to install himself as viceroy and governor on behalf of Spain. A systemic policy of slavery and murder against the indigenous population was implemented, and what the newcomers didn’t destroy on their own, newly-introduced diseases completed.

Estimates suggest that within a generation of Columbus’ landfall, just 5-10% of the native population remained, meaning that as many as 50 million people may have perished.

Today, over 5 million Native Americans are still faced with a celebration of both Columbus Day—which marks his arrival on October 12—and Thanksgiving, commemorating the first harvest feast shared by the pilgrims and the native tribes.

Watch this video to see how Native Americans feel about Christopher Columbus today.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy. 

Photo Credit: Ragophotos / Shutterstock.com

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