This commemorative day has officially replaced or challenged Columbus Day in in parts of the United States. South Dakota official replaced Columbus Day with Native American's Day in 1989. Other states -- California, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington -- proclaimed their own official observances that take place before and after Columbus Day.
We can sadly reflect on the brutal history of colonization that American Indians faced when Europeans "discovered" and then claimed their lands. Now, centuries later, the ongoing colonization process threatens to colonize not only their lands, but even the genetics of the trees in their forests that are central to their history and livelihoods.