US embassy in Athens and consulate in Thessaloniki closed on Monday

US Embassy Athens

The US embassy in Athens and its consular section, the US consulate general in Thessaloniki, and all US government offices in Greece will be closed on Monday (October 10) in observance of Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Meanwhile, Native American advocate Trisha Rivers of the Great Plains Action Society calls Columbus Day problematic, and she observes Indigenous Peoples Day, on the second Monday in October, instead.

“The importance of Indigenous Peoples Day is that we still are here after all of the atrocities that we have survived through as a people,” she said. “And we continue to become stronger each and every day, whether it's Tribal sovereignty or just existing in spaces that were not meant for us to exist in.”

Rivers, who is based in Sioux City, is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She said Columbus Day perpetuates a false narrative and marks the beginning of the genocide of Native people.

“The taking of land, the Indian boarding school era, and everything that has followed from that, that still impacts us as Indigenous peoples today,” she said.

For Rivers, Columbus Day supports the beginning of the colonization of Native people.

“So, when I talk about colonization, I'm referring to when settlers had come over and quote, unquote, ‘discovered America.'" she said. "And really, that ties to the doctrine of discovery, and basically saying that Indigenous peoples that didn't believe in God, were considered to be savage or merciless Indian savages or uncivilized. And therefore, the land is for the taking."

Rivers says Native Americans were vanquished or even murdered for land and resources.

“So when I think about Columbus Day, that that's what I think about is just the doctrine of discovery, the manifestation, or the manifest destiny, and the westward expansion, all of those things that have really targeted us as Indigenous people,” she said.

The Great Plains Action Society is a nonprofit group that focuses on social justice and political engagement. They helped organize a celebration for Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday in Iowa City.

READ MORE: Moscow demands Cyprus apologise for deporting a Russian journalist.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024