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Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Posted by:
October 12, 2020

Land Acknowledgement: Pacific Lutheran University sits upon the traditional lands of the Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin Island, and Steilacoom peoples; we acknowledge and respect the traditional caretakers of this land.

Land Acknowledgement: Pacific Lutheran University sits upon the traditional lands of the Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin Island, and Steilacoom peoples; we acknowledge and respect the traditional caretakers of this land. 

 

October 12th has historically been a day ridden with pain for many Indigenous peoples across America. It was first a day to immortalize and remember Christopher Columbus, the man who paved the way for settler colonization and Indigenous genocide. But this is now changing. Cities and states are acknowledging the horrific past taken against native people and are rejecting the colonialist holiday of Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This day is to honoring Indigenous people and all they have experienced due to colonization. With the renaming of the federal holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we are slowly changing the discourse behind the United States brutal and inhumane acts against native people as a nation. It may seem small, but the discourse and language we use to immortalize a specific person or event teaches our young people what we really think is important. 

 

Although, Indigenous Peoples’ Day has not replaced Columbus Day throughout the entire country. Many different Indigenous groups have been fighting for this acknowledgment at the national level. Through protest, political action, and conversation, Indigenous people are continuing to fight for the right, and to once again own the land that was stolen from them. 

 

Today is a celebration of the many Indigenous groups around our country. We take today to honor the strength, resistance, and resilience of Indigenous people. It is a day to remember the oppressive, genocidal past that Western settlers projected onto Indigenous people, but it is a day of celebration of all it means to be Indigenous. 

 

Here is a video celebrating what it means to be Indigenous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFAgafRrMwQ 

 

Mikayla Nagy

PACE Intern

Studying Global Studies and Political Science