Letter: It’s time to honor the American Indians with a national holiday | Letters to the Editor

Regarding the editorial “Marking Juneteenth, the real end of slavery, is not ‘Black history’ – it’s American history” (June 19): Juneteenth gives African Americans two national holidays, in addition to having the whole month of February as Black History Month. But I think it’s high time to also honor American Indians, which is the name they prefer to use rather than Native Americans according to a United States Census Bureau survey of 1995. They’ve been ignored for too long Instead of observing Columbus Day, make it American Indian Day and make it a national holiday.

Native Americans have contributed a great deal to this country in the fields of science, agriculture and sports. They also discovered the beneficial effects of quinine, ipecac and curare, which as a derivative has been used in anesthesia. During World War II, the Navajo Code Talkers helped the Marines deliver secret messages. Sports personalities include Jim Thorpe, Lewis Tewanima and Russell Wilson.

Native Americans were also part of the political scene. Charles Curtis became the first Native American Senator and Vice President of the United States, and Deb Haaland recently became the first Native American cabinet member as Home Secretary.

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