A county commissioner in Illinois is resisting the renaming of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day because of the documented history of Native Americans owning slaves, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.
Stanley Moore, Cook County Commissioner, stated that before any vote could take place on renaming the holiday, Native American tribes should acknowledge their history of owning slaves, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Moore’s statements were made as the Cook County Board discussed renaming Columbus Day at a meeting on Monday. (RELATED: Chicago Public Schools Will Observe Indigenous People’s Day Instead Of Columbus Day, Board of Education Decides)
Moore also brought attention to alleged discrimination of Choctaw Freedman by many of the Native American tribes in the country, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“They are discriminating against us, and if they do not want to recognize the Freedmen and their descendants, they should no longer accept nor receive federal taxpayers’ dollars based upon the census population of the Freedman,” Moore said in a statement.
Commissioner Stanley Moore said Indigenous People should not have the holiday renamed until they recognize slaves owned by Native Americans. https://t.co/3OItg4ZyRw
— Beverly-MtG Patch (@BeverlyMtGPatch) May 25, 2021
Some of the Native American tribes owned black slaves in the 19th century. These slaves, known as Freedmen, are not recognized by many of the tribes that enslaved their ancestors.
Moore’s voice has joined others who have questioned renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day after pointing out Native Americans’ brutal historical acts. Harvard scholar, Steven Pinker, wrote that indigenous societies were “far more violent than our own.” In “Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage,” anthropologist Lawrence Keeley wrote, “the dogs of war were seldom on a leash” among Native American societies.
Other examples include the Chippewa tribe forcing the Sioux from their land in what is present-day Minnesota. In return, the Sioux massacred the Omaha, the Kiowa, as well as the Pawnee tribe. Historical accounts of the Aztecs alone reveal an “industry of human sacrifice unlike any other in the world.”
Moore acknowledged that the past actions of injustice by Native American tribes is personal.
“We have an opportunity today to put a spotlight on the injustice that is happening to our brothers and our sisters,” Moore said.
“We will not stop until all the Five Civilized Tribes honor the sacrifices of their black slaves … If we decide that it’s more important that Black Freedmen lives do not matter, and I will have to urge a ‘no’ vote.”
There was not an official vote at the meeting on Monday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The vote is scheduled to take place on June 23.