NJ students learn about Indigenous Peoples Day

The Charter School of the Learning Community in Jersey City had a history lesson on all of history.

School principal Colin Hogan said the school normally takes Columbus Day off, but not this year with the Biden administration’s recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Hogan said many children know the story of Christopher Columbus, but added that the school wants their children to have a “rich history” of all cultures.

So, this year all children in Kindergarten to Grade 8 learned not the mythology of Christopher Columbus but the reality of the Lenape tribes living in the New York and New Jersey area centuries ago.

RELATED: Tension and Controversy Between Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day

In 2017, FOX 5 News also showed viewers the living history of one of New York’s early tribes, the Matinecocks. At the time, there were only three families left. The remains of their ancestors were controversially moved to create Northern Boulevard in Queens decades ago. It’s all American history with painful realities.

Nothing can heal old wounds, but fuller recognition could be a good start, according to Joe Baker, executive director of the Lenape Center in Manhattan.

“I also think it is insufficient and unfortunate that we only have one day of gratitude for indigenous peoples,” said Baker.

The Lenape Center will host an unprecedented exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in January 2022.

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