Indigenous People’s Day is a holiday that celebrates the rich culture, history and traditions of Native American people. It is observed on the second Monday of October in many parts of the United States, as an alternative to Columbus Day.
Why it’s important
For centuries, Columbus Day has been celebrated in the U.S. as a way to commemorate Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. However, this holiday has been widely criticized for ignoring the violent history of colonization and exploitation that followed his arrival, as well as erasing the existence and contributions of Indigenous people.
In recent years, there has been a movement to recognize and honor Native American communities through Indigenous People’s Day. This day acknowledges the resilience and strength of Indigenous people, and promotes awareness of their continued struggles for justice and sovereignty.
How to celebrate
- Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about Native American history, culture and current issues facing Indigenous communities. This will not only deepen your understanding, but also allow you to share accurate information with others.
- Support Indigenous businesses and artists: Use this day as an opportunity to support and uplift Indigenous voices by purchasing from Native-owned businesses or attending events featuring Native artists.
- Attend local events: Many cities and communities now hold celebrations, workshops and other events on Indigenous People’s Day. Look for opportunities to participate in these events and engage with the larger community.
- Volunteer or donate: Consider volunteering your time or donating to organizations that support Indigenous communities and causes, such as land conservation efforts or cultural preservation programs.
- Show respect: As you celebrate this day, remember to show respect for Native American traditions and practices. Avoid cultural appropriation and understand the significance of certain symbols or ceremonies before using them.
Let’s use Indigenous People’s Day as a way to honor and uplift Native American communities, promote awareness and advocate for justice. Together, we can work towards a more inclusive and equitable future.