Saturday, October 8, 2016
Vermont Celebrates Indigenous People's Day
Indigenous People's Day will be observed in Vermont in lieu of Columbus Day this year.
"Now therefore, I, Peter Shumlin, as Governor of the State of Vermont, do hereby proclaim Oct. 10, 2016, as Indigenous People's Day in Vermont, and on this day traditionally observed as Columbus Day encourage all Vermonters to recognize the sacrifice and contributions of this land," stated a proclamation, signed by Shumlin on Thursday, acknowledging that the Green Mountain State was founded and built upon lands first inhabited by indigenous people, "the Abenaki and their ancestors and allies."
Vermont is joining other states and towns around the United States in recognizing the second Monday of October as Indigenous People's Day and "re-imagining Columbus Day as an opportunity to celebrate indigenous heritage and resiliency," according to the proclamation.
Postglacial Viability and Colonization in North America’s Ice-Free Corridor, which shows that the corridor was incapable of sustaining human life until about 12,600 years ago. A second study, “Bison Phylogeography Constrains Dispersal and Viability of the Ice Free Corridor in Western Canada,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimates it closer to 13,000 years ago. Either way, the Americas were already settled by the time the land bridge would have been accessible for crossing. In fact, there is new evidence that there was human occupation in Florida 14,550 years ago. (Science Mag http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/5/e1600375)
So how were the Americas populated? One theory is that the Indians migrated in boats down along the Pacific coast about 15,000 years ago. Regardless of what DNA and archeological research finds, what is clear is that Columbus did not “discover America.”
Interestingly, 269 years after Columbus landed in the Caribbean, on October 12, 1761 the charter for Cavendish was issued by New Hampshire and signed by King George III. While Cavendish celebrates its 255th birthday this year, keep in mind that this land has been occupied for thousands of years and that our “first people” were not the Coffeens.