Columbus Day has been a point of contention ever since it was named a federal holiday by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934. For the Italian-American community, honoring Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of the New World is a celebration of their heritage; for Native American groups and their allies, it is a reminder of the atrocities inflicted on the indigenous peoples by European colonizers, and how Western interpretations of history have whitewashed the grave injustices and discrimination their communities still struggle with.
That's why numerous U.S. cities and states no longer recognize Columbus' arrival as a holiday, but rather choose to spend the second Monday in October observing Indigenous Peoples' Day. You can celebrate the culture and contributions of American Indians from wherever you are by donating to organizations like the Native American Rights Fund, which provides legal assistance to tribes, organizations, and individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it, or Stand With Standing Rock, which seeks to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline.
And, if you want to support indigenous-owned businesses while also bettering your beauty routine, look to these four brands. Each one is owned and operated by members of the Native American community, who are using their knowledge of traditional herbal therapies to create products for everyone to enjoy. It's also important to note that many Indian reservations and settlements have limited internet access, if any at all, which means they can't sell their wares outside their communities.
So, if you find yourself near Taos Pueblo or Tohono O'odham, Yakama or Yankton, Southern Ute or Spirit Lake, or any one of the 326 reservations in the United States, consider supporting the local native peoples with your purchases. Until then, shop body products, bath bombs, and more, ahead...