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Today, most of you probably have a day off from school in celebration of "Columbus Day". That's definitely a perk, but there's a lot not to celebrate about Christopher Columbus himself.
When he arrived in the Americas in 1492, it began the genocide of Native Americans that's lasted until today. He and his crew stole the land of the Arawak and Taino tribes, exploited them, pillaged and wrecked their communities, forced them into Christianity and raped, enslaved and killed them. Since then, Native Americans in America have been consistently exploited, pushed aside and mistreated. It's too much to go into the full history right now (here's a great article to read if you're interested), but we can boil it down to this: the last thing that should be happening in 2017 is exploitation of Native Americans.
Here are two ways to celebrate Columbus Day (or Indigenous Peoples Day to some other parts of the country):
Stand up against the dakota access pipeline
How you can speak out: Currently, the pipeline is still being built and the official "environmental review" has been postponed until the spring, even though it was originally planned to be finished by the end of 2017. You can call the government and urge them to stop construction until the review is over, and if you have the means, donate to the Standing Rock Water Protectors.
Script: Hi, my name is ___________, and I live in ____________. I'm calling to ask that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline stop immediately and be cancelled and to stop the brutal treatment of Standing Rock Water Protectors. The pipeline threatens the life, land and water of the Sioux [pronounced Soo] people. It is diabolical to threaten such a basic right and resource such as water, and even more so considering the endless torture and terrorism Natives have endured in our country's history. I hope that you will separate ethics from party politics in order to see what an immoral and unjust act this is. Thank you.
Numbers: 202-514-2701 (Dept. of Justice Environment and Natural Resource Division); 202-761-8700 (DAPL comment line)
Resources: standingrockinfo.com; standingrock.org
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