Head of School 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 lots of kids are familiar with the story of Christopher Columbus but added that the school wants their kids to have a "rich history" of all cultures.
So this year, all kids in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade learned not about the mythology of Christopher Columbus but the reality of Lenape tribes living in the New York-New Jersey area centuries ago.
In 2017, FOX 5 News also showed viewers the living history of one of New York's first tribes — the Matinecocks. At the time, only three families remained. Their ancestors' remains were controversially moved to create Northern Boulevard in Queens decades ago. It's all American history with painful realities.
Nothing can repair old wounds but a more complete recognition could be a good start, according to Joe Baker, the executive director of the Lenape Center in Manhattan.
"I also think it's lacking and unfortunate that we have only one day of recognition for indigenous people," the first true residents of North America, Baker said.
The Lenape Center will host a first-of-its-kind exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in January 2022.