Prior to Columbus Day circa 2020, I didn’t get a chance to get my ordinance as a City Councilor on the agenda to officially change the name from observing Columbus Day to something more honorable. To be quite honest, I was actually kind of torn between Italian American Heritage Day or Indigenous Day. During my deliberations of which ordinance to submit for a later council meeting, I decided to craft a message from the heart, penned to the founding fathers of America on social media. Pictured is family, generations of survival after one of the largest massacres in American history: the Pequot massacre of 1637. Many, many years ago when the settlers came, Pequots called what is now known as New London, Nameaug. Pequots inhabited this area. So, to go from 1637 when a tribe was nearly brutally wiped out completely, stripped of language, land and culture and enslaved, to 2020, where I courageously stood with family, descendants, creating historic monumental moments, was liberating. This picture was taken at the healing ceremony in honor of the removal of The Christopher Columbus statue by ways of the New London City Council.
Dear Founding Fathers,
You forgot us in “we the people.” But no worries, here we are, correcting wrongs, surviving genocide, and reflective of the real America.
One of my greatest moments this year was bringing family and friends from tribes from around the world to Mohegan-Pequot lands to heal and dance on these stolen lands.
Most of us descendants from indigenous people spanning from the Americas to Puerto Rico, Canada, Peru, Africa and beyond. Others, perhaps your descendants, onlookers, watching in awe.
You penned law to strip culture, identity, land and family from us. Costing us an Immeasurable amount of misfortune, poverty and institutional practices that continue to oppress us.
This was deliberate. And this is not a more perfect union. So we shall demand our seat at the table to discuss the future of America. Feathers, melanin, scars, mixed races and all.
May you sleep in peace knowing that we will be reflective, honest and intentional so that we can establish justice and ensure domestic tranquillity.
Submitted by Curtis Goodwin on Oct 15, 2020