The Red Nation is a recently coalesced group of students, organizers, intellectuals, community members, and revolutionaries based in Albuquerque, New Mexico who are dedicated to the liberation of Indigenous peoples from colonialism. On Wounded Knee Liberation Day, February 27th, 2015, The Red Nation invites locals and allies around the world to demand that the City of Albuquerque abolish the observation of “Columbus Day”—a day we believe celebrates genocide and ongoing colonialism.
In New Mexico, there are more than 25 Indigenous Nations, most of which have land bases, intact languages, political presence, and growing populations. However, desecration of sacred places, resource colonization, marginalization of Indigenous peoples’ rights, and large-scale exploitation of our cultures for municipal and state commercial use are just a few examples of how institutionalized racism persists. On its own, changing Columbus Day will not end colonialism; but it is a step toward the kind of wide-scale awareness that is necessary to mobilize any liberation movement.
The Kiva Club, an Indigenous student organization at the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque and member of The Red Nation, has also appealed to the University’s undergraduate student Senate, the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM), with a resolution to change the name of “Columbus Day” on campus. The resolution was submitted earlier this month and was tabled pending language revisions. The Kiva Club also seeks to change the Official Seal of the University which depicts an offensive emblem of New Mexico conquest: the Conquistador and a colonial white settler, with no acknowledgement of the actual horrific history of American and Southwestern colonization. ASUNM’s next Steering and Rules Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 6pm (MTN) when they will receive Kiva Club’s revised resolution. If passed, it will then be introduced to the full ASUNM Senate at their next meeting on March 4, 2015.
Link to KRQE News Clip:http://krqe.com/2015/02/20/unm-group-looks-to-nix-columbus-day/
Link to Official Seal of the University of New Mexico: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:University_of_New_Mexico_Seal.png