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Oct 2, 2018 4:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District To Officially Honor Indigenous Peoples' Day This Year

Daniel S. Collins Sr., far left, Charles K. Smith II, Southampton School Superintendent Nicholas Dyno, Shinnecock Indian Nation Tribal Trustee Lance Gumbs, Terrell Terry Sr. and Donald Williams Jr. at Southampton High School.  JON WINKLER JON WINKLER
Oct 2, 2018 4:48 PM

For the first time this year, the Southampton School District will officially honor its Native American residents by celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day next week.

The holiday, on Monday, October 8, is typically noted in national calendars as Columbus Day. However, the Southampton School Board voted this February to declare the second Monday of the month Indigenous Peoples’ Day after three years of marking the day on the district calendar as “No School” following a lengthy controversy about how the day should be celebrated.

Several years ago, members of the student body began protesting the district’s observing of Columbus Day because of Christopher Columbus’s mistreatment of Native Americans when he arrived in the New World in 1492.

“In 2016, members of our student body presented their idea to change the federal holiday observed in Southampton UFSD from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day to the Board of Education,” Superintendent Nicholas Dyno said in an email on Friday. “Since that time, the board and administration have listened to community feedback and researched how the holiday is recognized in areas around the country with a high population of Native Americans. In February 2018, the board voted to join more than 58 municipalities across the country in recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day on its district calendar.”

The district considered the name change at the time, but was met with resistance from some members of the community, resulting in the district not celebrating either Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, until the ultimate decision was made earlier this year to make the change.

Lance Gumbs, a tribal trustee for the Shinnecock Indian Nation, said on Monday that the local movement to have the Columbus Day name changed was started by a group of district students, a few from Shinnecock, who issued a petition to the School Board asking for the holiday name to be changed. Once word got out about the students’ actions, Mr. Gumbs said that other tribal members started attending board meetings to further advocate for the name change and support the students.

“There were children who were studying history that taught our children and kids across the country about Columbus, which was simply not true,” Mr. Gumbs said. “He was a criminal and a murderer. So to have a day honoring him after he murdered our people is unacceptable. There were incorrect teachings that children were smart enough to see what was wrong.”

One of the opposing votes on the original School Board decision was Trustee James McKenna, who said on Tuesday that he personally thought it was not up to a local entity like the School Board to change the name of a national holiday.

“I’m not against having an Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” Mr. McKenna said. “I believed there could have been a compromise and we could have had both days.”

Mr. Gumbs said that he and members of Shinnecock applauded the district and the School Board for “not buckling” under pressure from those opposed to the decision to change the holiday name, especially from those who protested the board’s discussions on the change.

Mr. Gumbs even pointed out that many who protested came from upstate and did not even live in the district.

One of them was Louis Gallo of Miller Place, the former chairman of the anti-defamation wing of the Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America. Mr. Gallo said on Tuesday that Columbus was not responsible for the atrocities against Native Americans that some people cite and that the Italian explorer “went out of his way” to maintain a “cordial relationship” with the 15th century indigenous population. He referred to the change in name as “all political correctness” meant to “ruin a European tradition this country was based on.”

“I’m all in favor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, just not on Columbus Day,” Mr. Gallo said. “It seems a little unfair.”

“I don’t think there was anybody that spoke who weren’t sympathetic to Shinnecock,” Mr. McKenna said. “I think the issue goes back to the question of, ‘Does it have to be done in this way?’”

When the board voted to approve the change last February, Mr. Gumbs said that the Shinnecock felt a “sense of pride” for the students who kick-started the movement. Nichol Dennis-Banks, a former Shinnecock trustee who sat on a school district committee that discussed the name change, said on Tuesday that she also appreciated the support the district showed for the change to happen.

“There were a lot of comments and resistance to this, so I feel this was a positive step forward,” Ms. Dennis-Banks said. “The school is doing the right thing and it’s imperative that they include an accurate telling of history and the plight of our people.”

“There was a general feeling that for once, our request had been honored,” Mr. Gumbs said.

For now, the district will honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day by closing the schools for the day. Mr. Gallo said he has plans to organize and register a complaint against the school’s decision before February 2019, when the district begins organizing its calendar for the next school year. Mr. Dyno also pointed out that the district began implementing a new social studies course this year that was composed by district teachers and members of Shinnecock.

“It is our hope that, by coupling the new curriculum with the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we will further honor the past and present contributions of Native Americans,” Mr. Dyno said.

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This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 3, 18 9:42 AM
I have to laugh when characters like Gallo comes all the way from Miller Place (and apparently some from upstate NY; WTH?!) to protest a district in which they don't even live. Why are these people even allowed into the meeting? Shouldn't it be for parents/guardians and district residents only?
Regardless, the way Gallo is attempting to paint Columbus as some kind of peacemaker is laughable. We can learn from Columbus' own writings that he certainly didn't think highly of Native Americans, ...more
By 2329702 (23), East Quogue on Oct 3, 18 9:58 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Walt (274), Southampton on Oct 12, 18 8:52 PM
Something good !!
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 10:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
The Still....
By Po Boy (2771), Water Mill on Oct 3, 18 10:34 AM
Someday when I have hrs of free time I’ll list the slaughter of indigenous people in history.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 12:17 PM
I politely suggest that "...Christopher Columbus's mistreatment of Native Americans..." should read as "...Christopher Columbus' mistreatment of Indigenous people..." and that the Press always use "Indigenous people" instead of "Native Americans".

The suggested change to the apostrophe is stylistic but editing "Native Americans" to "Indigenous people" is substantiative. "Native Americans" is an outdated term. When European settlers arrived, the area was not referred to as America by those ...more
By Aeshtron (153), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 10:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Like "Arawak"?

The untold thousand upon thousands of indigenous persons Columbus tortured and murdered with his alleged "leadership"?
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 4, 18 7:49 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 3, 18 10:49 AM
The uninformed hatred being spewed about Columbus shows that those seeking to honor Indigenous people have no interest in tolerance, inclusion and diversity themselves. The district is wrong here. The silent majority of parents don't agree with the change. Celebrate on another day, but removing Columbus Day from the calendar was hurtful to many of us who will continue to honor his amazing contributions to the world that we are today. This is especially ironic in a dual language district when ...more
By basic1 (9), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 12:31 PM
History has not been "revised". You've just been miseducated by pop culture, instead of actual facts. Fiction and pop culture are not acutal history. Look up "Israel Bissel" some time. He rode over 300 miles, saddling horse after horse. Paul Revere didn't even cover 20 miles.

Columbus was a murderer and psychopath who was incarcerated for his offenses against the native population of Hispaniola by the Spanish monarchy.

Ignorant is no way to go through life, especially for ...more
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 4, 18 7:56 PM
First off, Italy doesn't celebrate Columbus Day, secondly Why don't you celebrate Amerigo Vespucci which America is actually names after? Why don't you celebrate Galileo? Do you know what our numbers when settlers came? Do you know that U.S. Constitution was influenced by indigenious people, specifically the six Nation Iroquois Tribe? Do you know the first bible published in North America was written in the Algonquin language? Our school system is brilliant with Native knowledge, so don't tell me ...more
By adczeta (69), Southampton on Oct 5, 18 9:41 AM
Why not both? There's no reason we can't have a more well-rounded education of who Columbus was and what he did, and learn more about indigenous Americans too.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 5, 18 9:48 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Walt (274), Southampton on Oct 12, 18 8:57 PM
Just eliminate all holiday name, put day off with pay on the calendar.
SH Schools, highest rate to educate a student, no valedictorian, no Columbus Day.
What next Santa Clause is scary...
By knitter (1483), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 1:43 PM
3 members liked this comment
Santa Claus is scary. Consider the following

1. He sees you when you're sleeping
2. He knows when you're awake.
3. He has the ability to breed deer with superpowers.
4. He is an expert at breaking and entering (never leaves a trace of evidence).

5. He enslaves group of diminutive elves in the artic

The list goes on.
By C Law (326), Water Mill on Oct 3, 18 2:54 PM
Fine line between fear and respect.
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 3, 18 11:30 PM
While this is very funny, I'm pretty sure it is on next year's liberal "History and Cultural Modification" agenda next year just under "attack and remove George Washington's name, statutes and likeness from all public spaces".
By localEH (324), East Hampton on Oct 5, 18 10:46 AM
Indigenous: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment. Hmm sounds like you are discriminating against immigrants. I ddn't know Southampton Schools were so racist!
By Preliator Lives (304), Obamavillie on Oct 3, 18 2:10 PM
American Indians are not "Indigenous." Many studies show that the so-called "indigenous people" came here and either wiped out or absorbed people who were here before them. Is there a time limit on who we call indigenous?
By Babyboo (247), Hampton Bays on Oct 3, 18 6:59 PM
If not for filth and smallpox, the "white man" would have been beaten back just like the Vikings.

Ignorance is no way to go through life.

It's actually deplorable a lack of sanitation decimated a continent.
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 3, 18 11:29 PM
And P.S. the Chicxulub impact completely scorched this side of the planet, eradicating nearly all lifeforms in the Western Hemisphere. Thus, the "cradle of life" ended up being the African continent. The KT boundary and iridium deposits conclusively show a mass extinction not only planet wide, but focally in the Western Hemisphere.

So, those who settled the unpopulated hemisphere hundreds of thousands of years ago became the "native people" in the Americas.

Thanks for playing.
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 4, 18 8:15 PM
Post the study to back up your theory. My friends from the Shinnecock reservation can trace their linage back many many generations.cant wait for your post to back up your claim.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 3, 18 7:10 PM
3 members liked this comment
What we really need is to change the holiday to celebrate this section of the earth as it was prior to any of the Homo genus subset arriving.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (570), southampton on Oct 4, 18 3:52 PM
History or fiction.

The latter is popular culture.
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 3, 18 11:22 PM
Indigenous People's Day, beautiful thing. Get your own day!
By zeke (26), southampton on Oct 4, 18 5:05 AM
Kids don’t care as long as there is no school. Call it “guys who cut old growth trees down to sell tax free tobacco” day.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 4, 18 6:56 AM
2 members liked this comment
What is wrong with you peopl? this criminal didn’t discover anything! It’s laughable the one woman saying she will continue to teach her children the accomplishments of this man and his contributions to this country. Please make a list! I’ll wait! Lol we understand that white America doesn’t have much of a culture or traditions hence Where the word culture vulture was created, but don’t try to hold on to a day that represents rape and pillage for an entire community ...more
By shlady09 (7), southampton on Oct 4, 18 7:31 AM
2 members liked this comment
“White America” is a melting pot of 300 million people. Full of hate from people like you.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 4, 18 8:02 AM
And in the end being here longer means...nothing. It is an arbitrary construct meant to sooth the batter ego of a broken people. History is written by the winners, not the losers.
By Preliator Lives (304), Obamavillie on Oct 4, 18 10:12 AM
@ even flow -- "white America" is not 300 million people, never has been, never will be. The 2014 US census determined that the total U.S. population was 318.6 million people. 197,879,516, or 62.6%, identified as non-Hispanic white. I strongly suggest everyone read Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Between the World and Me".

White people (men especially) are justifiably scared of losing their elevated place in our society. Hard-working Indigenous, Black, Hispanic and Asian people are making strides ...more
By Aeshtron (153), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 10:17 AM
Like many "Americans" who have drank the Trump Kool-Aid, even flow is living in an alternate reality made up of "alternate facts".
By johnj (896), Westhampton on Oct 4, 18 10:30 AM
Read “ between the world and me” miss him at The Atlantic.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 10:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
@ aeshtron. Exactly my point. And, if you are going to quote someone, don't leave out the most important part....where I said a ''melting pot of 300 million people''. White America is a myth. There is Brown America with white people sharing it. You can't have it both ways.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 5, 18 9:22 AM
@ even flow -- I stand corrected, I misinterpreted what you meant and left out a key part of your statement. You are right, it is unfair and inaccurate when snippets are quoted out of context. Your idea that "white America" is a myth is compelling and something I'll think about, I do agree that there is no single unified "white America" working collectively to advance racially exclusive goals but rather that the established power structure does benefit some racial groups more than others. Thank ...more
By Aeshtron (153), Southampton on Oct 5, 18 10:54 AM
No problem. Now that we agree on that, perhaps we can figure out a way to direct the tens of millions in $$ and services allotted by NY State for minorities to white people we will be reflecting reality.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 6, 18 7:40 AM
I must say I enjoyed "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin as a young man. Quite enlightening...
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 7, 18 7:18 PM
And that’s all you That’s all you heard. Never hateful, some people just hate the truth about history! And this melting pot is derived of many cultures not just “white america”. By the way saying white America, staying a fact, and standing under for Natives doesn’t make me hateful smh. And let’s not play dumb the “you people” are the ones upset over their one holiday being taken away school by school because our youth are deciding now to educate themselves ...more
By shlady09 (7), southampton on Oct 4, 18 8:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Instead print every divisive thing that’s ever come out of Shinnecock Indian reservations. . Hypocrites
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 8:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Love how erasing history is now celebrated by schools. It's a special kind of ironic don't you think? Let's not teach children about Columbus or how he made the world a better place with his discoveries. That's wrong-think now!
By TrueHamptons (33), Sag Harbor on Oct 4, 18 11:19 AM
It seems like they are actually acknowledging a more accurate historical record - pretty different than erasing (you might say that the store of Columbus discovering the Americas was actually the erasure of history)

But what do we care!? This is messing with our origin story! arg Bring back the racetrack!!
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (570), southampton on Oct 4, 18 1:31 PM
Imagine a world where Nazi Germany won and Hitler was lauded as its architect but the history of the holocaust was not taught.

That's basically what happens with Columbus and the people whose hands he chopped off if they failed to bring him enough gold.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 5, 18 2:05 PM
If its not taught how did you learn of it? Try to make some actual analogies. Comparing Hitler to Columbus is just laughable.
By Baymen87 (118), Lugoff, SC on Oct 11, 18 9:42 AM
Are you not aware of the hero-worship surrounding Columbus in general and Columbus Day in particular?

I'm not saying Columbus is equivalent to Hitler, just that schools regularly teach about one genocide while ignoring the other. After all, 250k dead in a span of two years is certainly a genocide, isn't it?

As for my education on Columbus, I learned what wasn't taught in public schools by reading books. A People's History by Howard Zinn is a good start, and makes for good reading. ...more
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 11, 18 10:08 AM
FML
By Lets go mets (337), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 7:38 PM
FML
By Lets go mets (337), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 7:38 PM
Sort of like the Texas State Board of Education voting to erase Hillary Clinton from the history curriculum.
By SDG1776 (107), Southampton on Oct 4, 18 7:48 PM
Nah, not really.

It just burns...
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 4, 18 8:20 PM
@SDG176: HRC along with Helen Keller. What a country.
By June Bug (2156), SOUTHAMPTON on Oct 5, 18 12:01 PM
Let's play like the Shinnecocks....
Eliminate Indigious Peoples' Day!
By April1 (148), Southampton on Oct 5, 18 10:47 AM
it seems that you've missed some important details, April.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (570), southampton on Oct 5, 18 1:50 PM
Too many left wing liberals on the school board, always wanting to re-write history. Columbus was a great explorer. This political correctness crap has ruined our country. If voters don't agree with the school board, vote them off the board. Remember, the majority rules when it comes to voting, something our elected official have forgotten when they no longer represent the majority!
By Walt (274), Southampton on Oct 6, 18 8:31 AM
3 members liked this comment
Walt, you just stepped on your own foot.re-write history. How about a group of people who weren’t allowed to speak there own language. How about being forced to send your children to “ Indian” schools. The political correctness argument is as lame as Columbus being a great man.if majority ruled , we would still have Jim Crow laws. Get a grip.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 6, 18 3:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
Columbus was a paid and qualified navigator who was also an unqualified and brutal governor. What's wrong with recognizing that he bravely sailed across an ocean AND was a violent tyrant to the indigenous people?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 6, 18 4:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
Thank you for your personal attack. When that's all you got, I know I made a good point.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 7, 18 3:42 PM
It is about time they recognized the indigenous people of SH.
By Infoseeker (266), Hampton Bays on Oct 6, 18 3:15 PM
1 member liked this comment
Pumpkin town
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 8, 18 7:47 AM
Isn't it a federal holiday???
By knitter (1483), Southampton on Oct 6, 18 9:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
I wish more spanish speaking people would follow Columbus' lead and come here to discover a new world.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (570), southampton on Oct 7, 18 8:51 AM
Just another distraction that southampton is the most expensive district in the country and a mediocre result at best
By chief1 (2534), southampton on Oct 7, 18 10:32 AM
Aside from one archived report by Columbus’ chief political rival, Francisco Bobadilla, is there any other evidence to corroborate the claims made against Columbus?
By Dawn_O (32), Southampton on Oct 7, 18 1:19 PM
Bartolome de las Casas
By Mr. Z (10551), North Sea on Oct 7, 18 1:38 PM
Thank you.
By Dawn_O (32), Southampton on Oct 7, 18 2:01 PM
HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY EVERYONE!!!
By CaptainSig (678), Dutch Harbor on Oct 8, 18 7:25 AM
Let's play "pin the chopped-off hands on the native"
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 8, 18 7:31 AM
That type of ridiculous over playing is working against you and your party. Being ignored doesn’t require an increase is extremism- it requires a total change in approach.
By even flow (779), East Hampton on Oct 8, 18 7:47 AM
What "over playing"? It's fact that Columbus committed violent atrocities.

Why are you trying to erase history?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 8, 18 8:07 AM
Even flow, your tactical political views are always off.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 8, 18 7:51 AM
Fore, facts scare them. Falls under the heading of “fake” news.
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 8, 18 9:39 AM
Yes, I am both scared and not real. If I was a number I'd be the square root of negative one.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 8, 18 11:57 AM
In many instances, pre-Colombian cultures and justice systems in the Americas were extremely brutal long before Columbus ever sailed the ocean blue. Slavery, capital punishment, mutilations, and amputations were commonplace in many Mesoamerica cultures and beyond.
By Sitfu (15), East Quogue on Oct 8, 18 11:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
That's a great reason for learning broader history, not for ignoring the defects of Columbus. Why do people want to erase history?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 8, 18 11:47 AM
1 member liked this comment
Happy Indigenous People's Day!!! In 1492 Indigenous people discovered Columbus lost! Honor and respect Indigenous people who's land you stand on today!
By NativeWoman (15), southampton on Oct 8, 18 2:11 PM
^^^^^^^^^^^^
I’m with you
By Fred s (1200), Southampton on Oct 8, 18 2:19 PM
1 member liked this comment
Any good Columbus Day sales at our national retailers today or are they now called Indigenous People's Day sales?
By SDG1776 (107), Southampton on Oct 8, 18 6:03 PM
Adminiots should have just added Indigenous People's day to the calendar. Why stir the pot that’s already boiling over.
Oct 9, 18 5:33 AM appended by deepchanel
@pw: Hunter's Shinnecock. King should have known better. No Neck Nick has no spine either.
By deepchanel (57), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 18 5:33 AM
How is pointing out that Columbus wasn't a very nice guy pot-stirring? Why do you want to erase history?
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (4205), HAMPTON BAYS on Oct 9, 18 9:29 PM
Next they’ll be wanting to drop the name America due to Amerigo Vespucci’s complicity in the slave trade.
Oct 9, 18 6:50 AM appended by Sitfu
And renaming the District of “Columbia”
By Sitfu (15), East Quogue on Oct 9, 18 6:50 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By CPalmer (20), Southampton on Oct 9, 18 10:22 PM
Happy Columbus Day Everyone !!!
By bayview (155), Southampton on Oct 10, 18 11:12 AM
Time to give the board vacation days, permanent.
By knitter (1483), Southampton on Oct 10, 18 12:02 PM
When can we talk about one of the most important issues our community is facing: The ever present traffic situations (on CR-39, MTK and Sunrise Hwy) and the accidents / deaths that result from them ? How many people need to die before we do something?
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (570), southampton on Oct 10, 18 1:41 PM