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'However ...'



Thank you for publishing the excerpt from Kaitlin Reed's book Settler Cannabis: From Gold Rush to Green Rush in Indigenous Northern California (Black Snakes, July 6). It's good that Native people are giving their perspective on "settler-colonial destruction" of their ancestral homelands. However, the piece contains this incorrect statement: "... the tragic 2002 fish kill that left 70,000 dead Salmon rotting along the banks of the Klamath River was caused by a collision of cultures that began when the first ships landed on the east coast of North America in 1492." This misinformation reinforces the Whitewashed American history we all learned in school, which is that Christopher Columbus "discovered" North America.

Columbus arrived at what is now the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492. His second voyage took him to Cuba, Santo Domingo and Jamaica, and on his third and fourth voyage he traveled to the coasts of eastern Central America and northern South America. Columbus never saw or set foot on North America. He was an extremely violent and brutal man, even by the standards of his time. For these reasons, Columbus Day has been justly renamed Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Diane Higgins, McKinleyville

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