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Your Columbus Day Watchlist to Honor Indigenous Peoples

Christopher Columbus had syphilis.

To some, October 14 marks this year's Columbus Day, but many choose to commemorate the second Monday of October as First People's Day, Indigenous Peoples' Day, or Native American Day.

By now, we know that Christopher Columbus didn't "discover" the Americas, and he may have spread syphilis pretty much everywhere he went. But since 1934, we've given Columbus his own federal holiday amidst controversy and historical insights that the explorer was equal parts hero and villain—depending on which state's schools you attended. Recently, Maine became the latest state to officially change the holiday to "Indigenous Peoples' Day," joining at least six others and over 100 local cities and towns. Main Representative Roger Reed said, "Other than him sailing the ocean blue, I don't know what we can really credit [Columbus with]."

Why rename the holiday? Ambassador Maulian Dana of the Penobscot Nation reflected, "As the original stewards of these lands and waters, we are happy that our ancestral ties and contributions are validated and celebrated instead of silenced and ignored by the previous holiday that glorified the attempted genocide of our Nations."

But as any American knows, federal holidays are primarily celebrated by enjoying the day off from work or school and staying at home for as long as possible. So while you're planning your three-day weekend, consider streaming one of these movies made by or about Indigenous peoples.

Road to Paloma (2014) - ​Amazon Prime Video

Jason Momoa wrote, directed, and starred in this 2014 hybrid of a western, action, and family drama. Momoa plays "Wolf, a Native American on the run after avenging his mother's murder, flees across the desolate American West on his motorcycle, where he'll discover that justice has a cost."

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