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Thursday, October 14, 2004

articles-October 14

Columbus persona non grata in Latin America
10/14/2004 12:03
In October 12, many countries in Latin America celebrated the day in which Christopher Columbus first arrived in America, 512 years ago. Indigenous people from all over the region protested as only 10% of them survived the European colonization.

October 12 is Spain"s national day. It is also a remarkable holiday across Latin America as the world commemorates the day in which Christopher Columbus arrived, without noticing it, to the new world. That happened 512 years ago.

Today, American natives from different tribes all along the continent still blame on what is considered by many intellectuals as the first holocaust in world"s history. According to estimations, 40 million people, around 90% of the original population of America, was exterminated by European conquerors.

Countries like Argentina and Uruguay still celebrate what they consider the day of the Spanish Race. Others, like Venezuela have changed the name of October 12 Columbus Day to The Day of Indigenous Resistance. But that happened recently, under the leftist rule of President Hugo Chavez, who, joined by indigenous leaders from across the country, Chavez attended ceremonies to commemorate the national holiday on Tuesday. full article

"G" Is for Genocide
Alumni Viewpoint
October 14, 2004
Jason Corwin

"The bigger the lie, the greater likelihood that it will be believed." -- Adolf Hitler
There is a serious moral deficit in America that many have yet to come to terms with. The celebration of Christopher Columbus' arrival is a de facto celebration of the genocide of the indigenous people of this land. By all standards, notably the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, which was codified into international law after the world community punished the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials, the European colonization of the western hemisphere has undisputedly been genocidal. America's true history regarding native peoples has, in fact, been lawless, inhumane and barbaric, despite attempts by revisionist academics and the media to mythologize Columbus and his legacy, disregarding the evidence of his crimes against humanity.

Recently The Cornell American published an article to "honor America's first and finest mass murderer." Defenders of Columbus Day have used weak and racist arguments to justify their position. Campus conservatives have variously asserted that "genocide is no reason to cancel a holiday," and that it is a means of honoring Italian-Americans, who never did anything against Native Americans. My ancestors, who were renowned as great orators and debaters (so much so that several Founding Fathers found it prudent to study and attempt to emulate our form of governance), used fact and logic to advance arguments in councils. If we apply these techniques to the arguments and rationales forwarded by Columbus Day supporters, we can lay a shameful legacy to rest. Sadly, Americans knows very little truth about the original people of this land.

Since first contact in 1492, Europeans have either demonized us as non-human savages or romanticized us as perfect children of nature. Neither view was ever grounded in reality, as our cultures were highly diverse and contained positive and negative aspects, like all human societies. This has been perpetuated by inaccurate and stereotypical portrayals in media and educational curricula. Most people are ignorant of the significant contributions to humanity that we made in the areas of agriculture, democratic governance and human rights. A hallmark of these societies was a balance between collective responsibility and individual freedom. True freedom was so much a part of indigenous culture that it inspired Europeans to cast off the shackles of feudalism and monarchies. full article

States, government agree on Klamath Basin

Officials pledge to resolve water issues


Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration and the governors of California and Oregon said Wednesday they have agreed to work together to resolve water issues in the drought-starved Klamath Basin.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton said the agreement would help the two states and four federal agencies as they work with farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen, conservationists and other groups that use the chronically dry basin along the California-Oregon border. full article

Parents protest education standards at Piapot

PIAPOT FIRST NATION, SASK. - Members of the Piapot First Nation have shut down the local school in protest of a new curriculum.

Parents locked the school doors and blocked the entrance Tuesday. They say their children are not getting the education they deserve.

Under the new curriculum, students from kindergarten to grade twelve were tested, and many of them were placed in special education.

But some parents are doubting the accuracy of those tests.

"You based our whole native children of this First Nation community as special need?" asks Alvina Crowe. full article

Indigenous Women Reclaim Traditional Medicine

Yadira Ferrer*

BOGOTA, Oct 14 (IPS) - Luxmenia Banda, of the San Andrés de Sotavento indigenous reserve in northern Colombia, remembers that when she had bruises as a girl, her grandmother would apply the leaves of the 'árnica' (Heterotheca inuloides), of the daisy family, ''to reduce inflammation'', and would use crushed oregano to prevent scratches from becoming infected.

''When we were forced from our lands and had to move to other places, all of those traditions began to be forgotten. Reclaiming them was one of the first tasks we took up when we returned,'' Banda, head of the Association of Alternative Producers, Asproal, told Tierramérica.

Seventy of the 803 women who are part of the organisation, most from the Zenú community, participate directly in growing and marketing medicinal plants. full article

Owners discover they are renters
By Valarie Lee/The Daily Times
Oct 14, 2004, 11:42 pm

SHIPROCK — Imagine being offered the opportunity to live in a large, airy, beautifully designed home with a big yard.

And imagine how excited you and your family would be about moving into this brand new home after spending years living in a cramped apartment.

Now, before you move in, local tribal officials, dignitaries and the corporation who built the home, serve a sumptuous catered lunch and eat with you and your family.

During this luncheon, various officials congratulate you on owning your new home.

After lunch, officials hand you a small elegantly wrapped box. Inside you find a key.

The officials explain to you the key goes to your new house and you are now officially the “new owners.” full article


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