Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not new — in fact, it was first introduced in the early 1990s, when the city of Berkeley, California, marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s landing in the Americas. Two years later, the city of Santa Cruz, California, made it a holiday.
However, Indigenous Peoples’ Day has not been widely celebrated until recently, and we at GC were thinking up ways we can support and honor Indigenous peoples as we head into the holiday weekend. Here are our recommendations:
- Learn more about Indigenous groups who lived in your area using this Native Land map.
- Attend an Indigenous Peoples’ Day event in your community. They’re not hard to find!
- Donate to organizations supporting Indigenous communities, like the Native American Rights Fund.
- Write to your local government about honoring the day. Many states continue to celebrate the holiday as Columbus Day, though there is growing support for change. Additionally, many local schools and sports teams continue to use Indigenous groups as “mascots.” Use this day to address these issues in your own community.
- Learn more about Indigenous-led conservation efforts in your community and join in. Water protectors are important, and have been helping preserve access to potable water for generations — benefiting us all.
- Spend time listening to Indigenous voices. I recently watched this TedTalk given by Gregg Deal in 2018 and cannot stop thinking about it.