Trump's Columbus Day Proclamation Ignores Native Americans

Instead he celebrates Columbus as a great explorer and 'man of faith'
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2017 5:42 PM CDT
Trump Doesn't Mention Native Americans on Columbus Day
   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Donald Trump's first presidential proclamation of Columbus Day was long on praise for the famed explorer but failed to mention the Native Americans who were here when he arrived. Dated Friday, the proclamation honored Christopher Columbus as a "skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents" and "fundamentally changed the course of human history," USA Today reports. It also called Columbus, a native of Genoa, a representative of the "rich history of Italian American contributions to our great nation." But unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump's proclamation says nothing about the indigenous populations that were almost wiped out by diseases and enslaved by the arriving Europeans, CNN reports.

Trump's proclamation comes at a particularly fraught time for the Columbus Day holiday. In August, Los Angeles stopped celebrating the holiday, choosing instead to honor native cultures with Indigenous People's Day. On Thursday the Austin City Council voted to do the same, joining other cities like Seattle and Portland, Oregon. At least 16 states don't recognize Columbus day as an official state holiday, including Alaska and Hawaii. The last president to fail to mention Native Americans in his Columbus Day proclamation was George W. Bush. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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