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Indigenous Peoples' Day

Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 06, 2022

Formally recognized for the first time by a United State President in 2021, a proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day was signed by President Biden on October 11, 2021 and is observed annually on the second Monday of October. Beginning as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the resistance and resilience of the indigenous communities of the United States. As stated in Biden’s proclamation, ‘For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures.  Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society.’

Currently observed by fourteen states and more than 130 cities, the State of Colorado officially abolished Columbus Day in 2020. While some states have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, some will continue to observe both days. First proposed by Indigenous peoples in 1977 at a United Nations conference, it wasn’t officially celebrated for the first time until 1989 with South Dakota being the first state to celebrate.

The Native American Student Services (NASS) cultural center led by Dr. Eryka Charley will be hosting an Indigenous Peoples’ Day Heritage Showcase on Monday, October 10 at 4pm at the César Chávez Cultural Center. This event will feature The High Plains Dance Troupe & Medicine Bull as well as food from Tocabe, a Native American Eatery. More information will be shared through their Instagram and Facebook accounts.

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For additional education and personal development related to diversity, equity and inclusion, the following resources are available: DDEI Education and Resources, DEI & Antiracism Resources from the UNC Libraries, the Education Equity Toolkit from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and the UNITE workshops for faculty, staff, and students.