Document of Learning – Christopher Columbus

As you may have heard before, History is the memory of states and what we remember or read about History is different to everyone. Moreover, as years pass historians find missing puzzle pieces to place in the big picture, or the big idea. I belive that History is interpreted and will always be interpreted in many different ways and there is really no wrong way to look at History. This is because no one really knows what went down back then as nobody was present at the time of Christopher Columbus. To add on, my question is not about Columbus but about the Indigenous groups he encountered on his voyage to find gold. Although the Indigenous groups were not a threat to Columbus in anyway, they were still killed and taken advantage of. In relation to this, why were the Indigenous groups so kind and generous to Columbus if they looked wealthier and more of a threat to the them?


The picture above shows that right away the Indigenous groups did not hesitate to greet and welcome Christopher Columbus and his crew. Even though Columbus had weapons and a huge ship, the Indigenous groups felt that it was in their need to show hospitality towards Columbus and his crew members because they had no food or resources. Moreover, When the Indigenous groups helped Columbus, they became very vulnerable and were easily taken advantage of. After Columbus realized he could control the Indigenous groups, he captured them as his slaves or killed them and stole all their food and resources. For what? Nothing, the Indigenous groups did nothing to harm Columbus; in fact, they helped him, and were repaid with the worst treatment anyone could have endured. Which leads me back to my question of why? Why such cruel behaviour over people that posed no threat to you? In the end, this question will always remain unanswered because of the lack of proof and witnesses yet, we all have our own inferences that may or maybe correct but still unknown.

The reason I chose to ask a question about the Indigenous groups is because when discussing the book Howard Zenn wrote in class, I felt that the Indigenous groups were in the background and that we didn’t get a full explanation on why they were so generous. Now, I am aware that it is part of their culture however, it will always remain unclear  to me. Moreover, I think that even though the Indigenous groups were ranked a lower class than Columbus, Columbus had no right to treat them so poorly after they helped him. In addition, in our world today “Aboriginal” groups are still looked as below everyone else which I think is very wrong because we are discriminating people we don’t even know. To conclude, I believe that everyone should be treated equally in life because everyone has rights and it is our duty to respect their rights.

I am really enjoying these in class discussions and I can’t wait for more to come :)

3 thoughts on “Document of Learning – Christopher Columbus

  1. Hi Nadia,
    I really like your question. Putting it in bold was a really good idea, and it made it stand out. I’m wondering though – what was your ‘object’ or piece of art that was supposed to represent a little of your thinking? Also, just as a suggestion, you may want to source the picture you included (you know, because we’re being marked and stuff, just as a heads up). It seems like your thinking is going in a really interesting direction though; I like it!
    Emily :)

  2. Hi Nadia

    You discussed your question in a lot of detail, and I totally get the reason you asked it. I was wondering, though: was your assignment only to choose a picture? Maybe if you added a quote or a caption it would have made the picture more powerful. Still, I really enjoyed hearing your opinion about the Indigenous groups!


  3. Hey Nadia,

    Your question makes a lot if sense, and is a question worth asking. An important aspect to look at will be the values of each culture, as the indigenous people didn’t value things like gold, and didn’t consider other people a threat.

    Also, where is your “object”? Did you maybe forget to link to it?

    Overall, fantastic post.


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