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Indigenous People’s Day 2020

October 12, 2020

Dear Student Affairs Colleagues:

Indigenous People’s Day is recognized on the second Monday of October. The day began as a counter-celebration of the resistance and resilience of the indigenous communities of the United States in protest of Columbus Day. Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, is often touted as the “founder” of the Americas; however, not only is this narrative inaccurate, it is damaging and contributes to the erasure and violence of Indigenous peoples, historically and contemporarily.

The State of Colorado has officially abolished Columbus Day in 2020. Although the renaming of the day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day has previously been proposed seven times, the change did not pass at the State level.  Colorado now joins 12 other states and Washington D.C in eliminating the holiday, and most of the 12 states replaced the holiday with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

To contribute to the reclaiming of the second Monday of October, the Native American Student Services (NASS) cultural center led by Dr. Eryka Charley will be highlighting contemporary Indigenous artists through their social media accounts. On Monday, October 12, Ky Short, NASS First-Year Outreach Coordinator, will be sharing social media posts throughout the day. Follow social media accounts to learn more about how IllumniNatives, an Indigenous Pop Culture artist collective, is working in tandem with educators to provide culturally appropriate education about contemporary Native peoples.

Further, Shea Ortiz, NASS Mentoring Coordinator, will be sharing a list of movies and tv shows that showcase Indigenous filmmakers currently available on various streaming platforms. This list will be available on all NASS social media sites. Lastly, Shea will also be offering fry bread cooking lessons on TikTok and Instagram.

For further education and development, please find these sources as reliable and authentic in its representation of Native Peoples. Click here for education and Resources located on the Equity & Inclusion site.

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Dr. Tobias J. Guzmán
Vice President of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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