With several cities in California shifting its focus on Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day--including Berkeley, the first City in the United States to make the change in 1991--schools throughout the Golden State are beginning to shift how they teach about Columbus. The first two articles below discuss how schools and educators are changing how they are teaching about Columbus and what that means for how history is taught in California's schools.
The first article below notes that the rethinking of teaching about Columbus supports the State's new framework on history education. The California Historical Society's new digital history project, Teaching California, was created to support this new framework, in partnership with the California History and Social Science Project.
Our CEO & Executive Director Dr. Anthea Hartig notes that CHS is fully supportive of this shift in teaching about Columbus:
"History has been traditionally taught in the hero style. A great man, rarely a woman, at the center of an event, " Hartig says. "Maybe you could stick Joan of Arc in there. These men were exalted and meant to inspire. If you read a lot of juvenile literature you'll notice this. But really, the revolutions Columbus launched weren't the revolutions for which he's celebrated. What he imposed on the islands was some of the most heinous genocide and labor forced on the world. By 1555 there were no more natives. Then they started to import slaves from Africa."
Articles and Resources about Indigenous Peoples' Day: