The Oberlin Review

City of Oberlin Recognizes Indigenous People

Kate Fishman, Contributing Writer

September 8, 2017

When I was in elementary school, my teacher read us Jane Yolen’s Encounter, an illustrated book displaying a Native American child’s perspective on the arrival of the Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus. Even then, I remember feeling confused. I had learned about Columbus as a man who ventured across the ocean and discovered a new land, but Encounter did not have that familiar tone of joyful new beginnings. I have since come to realize that while Christopher Columbus brought Europeans to the Americas, to see this colonization as a discovery is to focus on a Eurocentric perspective — it ignores those who were here first. When Columbus and his men arrived, they did not bring an exciting new beginni...

City Council Unanimously Overturns Columbus Day

Alexis Dill, News Editor

September 1, 2017

Oberlin City Council unanimously voted to stop recognizing Columbus Day, replacing the federal holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The Aug. 21 decision, which culminated after months of collaboration between the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Committee and City Council, made Oberlin the first city in Ohio to make the transition. The committee is made up of Oberlin residents looking to celebrate indigenous resistance and fight current injustices. One way to do this is to recognize truths about Christopher Columbus, a controversial figure, whom historians often link to the transatlantic slave trade and genocide of the Hispaniola natives. The resolution encourages businesses, organizations, and programs in the city, w...

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