Trump does not mention Native Americans in Columbus Day proclamation, breaking with Obama

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President Trump does not acknowledge Native Americans in his first proclamation of Columbus Day, breaking with his predecessor. 

Trump’s proclamation — issued Friday — celebrates Christopher Columbus’s role in launching the “age of exploration and discovery” and acknowledges the contributions of Italian Americans to the country. 

“The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation,” Trump’s proclamation reads. “Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions — even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.”

In contrast, President Obama directly addressed the suffering of Native Americans at the hands of Columbus and other European explorers in his 2016 Columbus Day proclamation.

“As we mark this rich history, we must also acknowledge the pain and suffering reflected in the stories of Native Americans who had long resided on this land prior to the arrival of European newcomers,” Obama’s proclamation read. “The past we share is marked by too many broken promises, as well as violence, deprivation, and disease. It is a history that we must recognize as we seek to build a brighter future — side by side and with cooperation and mutual respect.”

{mosads}Obama also noted the contributions and progress of Native Americans in the U.S.

“We have made great progress together in recent years, and we will keep striving to maintain strong nation-to-nation relationships, strengthen tribal sovereignty, and help all our communities thrive,” Obama wrote.

Many Americans in recent years have begun celebrating “Indigenous People’s Day” on the second Monday in October, and 16 U.S. states do not recognize Columbus Day as a public holiday. South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day for nearly 30 years.

Tags Christopher Columbus Columbus Day Native Americans in the United States
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