Colleges nationwide celebrate ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ on Columbus Day

Across the nation, many schools are holding occasions to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples Day,” refocusing what has for years been a federal vacation celebrating Christopher Columbus towards an appreciation of Native peoples. 

The Denmos Museum Center, positioned at Northwestern Michigan College, will likely be providing free admission and an outside occasion organized by Todd Parker, the Native American success coach, and members of NMC’s Native American Student Organization. 

Wunk Sheek, an Indigenous scholar group on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will likely be internet hosting a one-session powwow at 7 p.m. in Gordon Commons. 

For the primary time, Boston University will likely be commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate the “accomplishments of indigenous, Native American and First Nations people.” 

On its web site, the college put collectively a really useful studying listing in honor of the vacation. 

Stanford University, in the meantime, has launched a “land acknowledgment” web site, honoring relationships with Native peoples. The colleges say it encourages the usage of the land acknowledgment at occasions to celebrate ties to the Muwekma Ohlone and different Native communities. 

Event to mark Indigenous People's day is held in Austin
Javier Flores of Danza Azteca Guadalupana performs during an event to mark Indigenous Peoples' day at the capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, U.S.

Event to mark Indigenous People’s day is held in Austin
Javier Flores of Danza Azteca Guadalupana performs throughout an occasion to mark Indigenous Peoples’ day on the capitol grounds in Austin, Texas, U.S.

The University of Buffalo issued the same proclamation, saying it is going to observe Indigenous Peoples Day in honor of the Indigenous peoples who had been the primary inhabitants of North America. 

“UB acknowledges that our campuses operate on land that is the traditional territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the region remains the home of the Haudenosaunee people,” the college mentioned in a press release. “Further, we responsibly acknowledge the continuing impact of settler colonialism on the Haudenosaunee and their territories.”

Columbus Day has been embroiled in controversy for many years. Making landfall in what’s now the Bahamas on Oct. 12, 1492, Columbus, an Italian, was the primary of a wave of European explorers who decimated Native populations within the Americas in quests for gold and different wealth, together with individuals to enslave.


President Joe Biden caught many abruptly on Friday after issuing the first-ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The day will likely be noticed together with Columbus Day, which is established by Congress.

President Joe Biden gestures on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

President Joe Biden gestures on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.

“For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures,” Biden wrote within the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation. “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.”

In a separate proclamation on Columbus Day, Biden praised the function of Italian Americans in U.S. society, but in addition referenced the violence and hurt Columbus and different explorers of the age caused on the Americas.


“Today, we also acknowledge the painful history of wrongs and atrocities that many European explorers inflicted on Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities,” Biden wrote. “It is a measure of our greatness as a Nation that we do not seek to bury these shameful episodes of our past — that we face them honestly, we bring them to the light, and we do all we can to address them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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