While watching and reading about the catastrophe that occurred at the Waterville City Council meeting on Oct. 1, I could not help but cheer at the response by Waterville resident Shannon Thurston (“Area residents call Waterville mayor out over Columbus proclamation“).

Thurston brought to Mayor Nick Isgro’s attention the concern and passion that many citizens of Waterville have for the correct language when referring to Indigenous People’s Day. Thurston spoke about including the Native Americans who were not allowed to have an influence in our present-day culture.

“We need you to stop praising the engineers of genocide,” Thurston said. “We need you to stop justifying overwhelming bad with the situational good.”

Thurston showed that it was not just the name of the holiday we wanted changed; it was the message behind it.

A final comment from Thurston: “History is not on your side and a mouthful of expired facts based in racism that threatens to further erase an entire race of people isn’t either. We need to stop lying to our people and the children we are raising by saying that Columbus was a hero.”

Three cheers, Ms. Thurston.



Lily Barkdull


(The writer is a junior at Winslow High School taking a Business Writing course through the Mid-Maine Regional Adult Community Education program. She also works at a local McDonald’s and plans to graduate a year early from high school.)