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Dear Sons of Italy - New Generation,

We send this letter to you in hopes of resolving past differences, and in the hope that a new and mutually-respectful future can be fostered between all peoples in the Denver area. We will appreciate your serious consideration of our request below, and we hope that you will respond to us a quickly as possible.

As you know, we have consistently expressed our opposition to the veneration of Christopher Columbus, as well as to all public celebrations of Columbus or his legacy. On a number of occasions, in both public and private forums, we have explained to you why we find Columbus as an individual, as well as celebrations of him, to be especially harmful and offensive. Because we do not want to waste undue space in the body of this letter recounting the details of our opposition to Columbus, we have included an attachment with some additional explanations of our position, along with some notes and a bibliography.

The main purpose of this correspondence is to request you, or perhaps more accurately to implore you in the spirit of community goodwill, to consider changing the name of your parade scheduled for October 12th. We are asking you to consider, after 500 years of invasion, death, and destruction of our indigenous nations, if you can find it in your hearts to change one word in the title of your parade?

Will you please change the name of your parade from a celebration of Columbus -- who was an African and Indian slave trader, and who was personally responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of indigenous people throughout the Caribbean Sea -- to a celebration of the beauty of Italian culture? We will be glad to stand with you in recognizing the strength and importance of the Italian contributions to the world, but it is impossible for us to join with you if the Indian-killer Columbus is involved.

Despite the reality that Columbus Day remains a state and national holiday, we hope that you will consider joining with us to forge a new tradition for the Americas -- one that replaces divisive public holidays and celebrations, with ones that acknowledge the value and the importance of all of the peoples who are now in the Americas. We are asking you to join with us to create a new example for the entire country, and for the entire hemisphere, that not only Italians and American Indians can find common ground, but that all peoples in the Americas can forge a new relationship of understanding and mutual respect. We specifically ask you to join us in goodwill and friendship in our All Nations/Four Directions March on Saturday, October 12th, which we believe represents that spirit of mutual respect.

In our indigenous traditions, we are responsible for envisioning and implementing decisions based on how those decisions will affect seven generations. This year represents one of those moments when our decision in Denver, Colorado may very well have effects in communities and upon national behaviors for many generations that we can scarcely imagine.

This year, 510 years after the arrival of Columbus, we find ourselves at a crucial crossroads. Will we choose to be remembered by our future generations as small and petty people, who were only concerned about our narrow self-interests, or will we choose to lay the foundation of new relations, that acknowledge the worth and the beauty of all peoples in the Americas? We choose the latter. We invite you to join hands with us to heal the wounds of the past, and to move into a new future, in which all of our children, and their children, can relate to each other in an informed and respectful way.

We ask you, as we have since 1990, if you will please remove Columbus and Columbus celebrations from your parade? We await your earliest reply on this question which will affect our entire community.

For all our relations.

Glenn T. Morris 
Leadership Council Representative 
American Indian Movement of Colorado

 

2004 Transform Columbus Day Alliance
10/20/2004