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  • Bill Bigelow

    Cyril, Exactly. I steal a purse in my classroom to make this point. "I didn't steal Chantal's purse, I discovered it."

  • Cyril B. Saulny

    How would anyone like me to discover their television set at their
    home, and help myself to it? That would be taking something that don't belong to me - stealing! That makes Christopher Columbus one of the highest levels of a thief - stealing and robbing people of their lives and culture.

  • Bill Bigelow

    Thanks for the kind comments, Michele. I hope you are able to check out the materials at the Zinn Education Project,

  • Michele Harvey

    Just found this website and I am so excited to see others who think like me! I'm overwhelmed by the information available and that so many people are dedicated to truth telling and re-telling history from a different perspective other that those in power.

  • Michele Harvey

    I am so proud and excited to find this website! It is nice to see that my way of thinking is popular! I appreciate all the downloads and agree with teaching young and old about the truth and re-telling history from a different perspective other than those in power. I will definitely being using the materials when I teach!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Really glad you found us Michele. Let us know how you'd like to connect with other teachers! Have you found our education hub,

  • graceadams830

    Of course we Anglos do NOT care about anybody who got here before we did, or after. We conquered the place including the natives fair and square. So it is ours by right of conquest. Of course we Anglos consider everyone else vermin. We won--everything is ours by right of conquest.

  • Ansa88

    So this is what my World History teacher meant when she set us up thinking about who decides the textbooks and the history, about how Columbus was really a horrible guy.
    Omigeez. O.O
    Eye opening indeed. NEED TO REMEMBER TRIBE NAME.

  • Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

    Great piece and great reminder of Rethinking Columbus as a resource. Teachers in the National Writing Project have made good use of Rethinking Columbus as well as the larger collection of Rethinking Schools materials and perspectives. Educators (and also families and community members) who don't know Rethinking Schools, I recommend a visit to their website to see the intellectual riches there:

  • Mary Ann Einarson

    Nice article, thanks for the reminder.
    It was decades ago, but we were simply taught that Columbus 'discovered North America' while trying to reach the East Indies. As a kid, I never understood what the fuss was all about, since "Leif landed first"... (My dad's Icelandic.) : D

  • colby.cooper

    I thought this article was very open to the diversities that have been caused from Columbus' exploration. We often forget about the damages caused to the indigenous, native, American, etc. people that already inhibited the land pre-colonialism. We are very technologically advanced now, but that is not to say the ways of live back then are to judge against the modern way. Many people still long for that manner of life and although they may never see it, a reason to judge their way of life can not be justified.

  • jeangarvey

    This year we have a new World History textbook. It is the first textbook I have used that even mentions the Taino. They are found in one sentence only: "The natives there were not Indians, but a group who called themselves Taino." (Holt McDougal's Modern World History: Patterns of Interaction). Fortunately I have Bill's book and have used it for many years. It has resources appropiate for different age levels with a variety of lessons and readings. Thank you Bill for a wonderful book.

  • Vast Shadow


    I always wonder -- What is happening to Thanksgiving? I often pop joke to it by saying its the celebration of the embeddable, omnipresent turkey come to fulfill our day.
    No one ever gets it.

    {Arizona has been appointed as corrupted, congress keeps trying to put diplomacy in there and Arizona officials constantly try to push them out. No one knows why.}

    Thanksgiving is the Holiday that the pilgrims, who were oppressed by Engalnd crusades and the church, fled to the USA to start a new life in the promised land. But yet, people yell USA is racist... But didn't we friend the Indians(Native Americans) not enslave and kill them?
    All is left forgotten and yet we have small strains of history that appoint differently. Forgotten though, in place Thanksgiving just has christmas and old Halloween decorations covered over it. So, it leaves me to think... Thanksgiving has something to be remembered for of a Turkey, doing something.

    Christopher Collumbus and Ol John Smith... The two other explorers to the Americas that followed or were before the pilgrims(?) are often skewed in place as well.

    Looking at the ethics of culture in the Americas and parts of History are only the trail you have.
    Mexico. I have many friends that used to say, we were before you white people. I'd say, "sure, Columbus..." . Columbus was a Spaniard, a worker for the queen of England... And landed, SOMEWHERE on America... Where? Well, the Mayan could not tell you -- They are ALL dead and all of their gold is missing, but the country now reeks of Spanish descendants. Not all of South America is full of Spanish, just the tiny part, Mexico.
    Canada. The story of John Smith isn't really anchored in place either... You new have Disney movies that put a montage figure of John Smith as a do-gooder. The truth, is all in USA not Canada though. John Smith was late-30s guy, Hired by the Queen of England... A real assinine of character, his own men hated him on the long voyage... Would have gotten thrown over board, had he not been the Captian in charge by the Queen. Pocahontas wasn't a late 20s female, she was a 12 year old native American... The Disney movie never mentions that, but history tries to keep it in place, USA only though. You can't even ask any native Canadian indian any of the stories.
    There is NO NATIVE AMERICANS in Canada... Where did they go? You also wont find any Indians in Canada, but in the colder regions -- Place no one goes, you still find the eskimos. Looking at the USA states, the Northern states.. YOu find a very consistent manner of State naming and city naming... Most of the states all have town names after Indians. There is also skewed stories of indians being slaughtered and forced out of their homeland and into these states.
    Who gets the blame for all Indian eradication? USA.
    Who tries to be the first to USA... Not the Pilgrims. But so much aims at those hidden facts. From our Thanksgiving, to our state-names... You wont find any Mayans in Mexico. You WONT find no Canadian Indians in Canada. All you get is bunch of stories that criss-cross... Constantly trying to infatuate USA is a hate racist monger.

    Just leaves you to wonder... Why would people want to forget about History and make up such stories about the USA?

  • Poncho Gutiérrez

    This reminds me of Eduardo Galeano's "Memorias del Fuego" whose aim is to re-discover the collective memory of the American peoples. I am a Mexican and live in Mexico City and let me tell you: we are also taught about History from the viewpoint of the Spanish Conquistadors and the Mestizo "liberators". Native Americans (all over the continent not just in the USA) are treated in a very patronizing way by History; this needs to change.

    The Maya and the Aztec, the Taíno and the Caribes, the Inca, the Huichol and the Tarahumara, the Mapuche and Araucanos (among numerous others) have much to teach us Westernized folks! They have a much better relationship with their Ecosystems than we do.

    Kudos on your book! Where can I get a copy.

    • Bill Bigelow

      Poncho, Great points. The Galeano collection is a brilliant collection -- so many pieces in the book that could be used by teachers at all levels. -- And, yes, you can get Rethinking Columbus at Also check out all the resources we have available at the Zinn Education Project site,