By Catherine Acedillo, Marketing Assistant
Indigenous Peoples Day is recognized to commemorate the great diversity and history of all Indigenous communities. A day that gives Native Americans the opportunity to show people what changes still need to be made. It is a time to admire the resilience and contributions Native Americans have made in the establishment of what America is today. It is a day in which we may pay respect and remember those who’ve been lost to generations of genocide, and to understand the stories of those who have faced assimilation and discrimination in a society that people say, is ‘accepting’.A time of “unlearning”. What are the myths that Columbus brought into American History? Here is what you need to know. Check out the information here from the National Museum of the Native American for Native Knowledge 360. Click on the image below.
We see the holiday first being proposed by Indigenous peoples at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in 1977. Nowadays, it’s a paid state holiday in Alaska, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Although it was South Dakota that became the first state to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1989. At the beginning of this month, we saw Boston, Arizona, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Washington D.C., and several other states join the movement in declaring the second Monday in October to be respected as Indigenous Peoples Day. Many states and local governments have even taken it a step further, dropping Columbus Day as a whole and replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day.For some, they may ask why change it? “It’s only a name.” It’s a title. A title that is synonymous with the loss of life, tradition, and land of an entire population. A simple name change could mean real social progress for Indigenous communities in America. While there may not be one set way to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, it’s a time in which we can all come together to celebrate the concepts of reflection, community, visibility, and education about Native American history.