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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Resources

This guide will assist you in finding books, e-books, scholarly journal articles, streaming videos, and websites related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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Indigenous People's Day

Overview of Indigenous Peoples Day

Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October. This year, Oct. 12.  Although the second Monday in October is federally recognized as Columbus Day, paying tribute to America’s first European colonizer, many cities and states have replaced the day with one that honors the resiliency, history and contributions of indigenous people rather than the Italian explorer. In 2014, Minneapolis became the first Minnesota city and one of the first large U.S. cities to replace the Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day. The St. Paul City Council in did so in 2015. Former Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton made the change from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day in 2016. 

 

Why replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day? Many scholars argue that celebrations, statues and holidays dedicated to the Colonizer sanitize his actions, which include murder and enslavement of American Indians. Additionally, giving credit for Columbus “discovering” a land that was already occupied lends itself more to mythology than history and diminishes the humanity of Indigenous people. 

 

Historical Overview and More Information 

o   United States

§  1492 - Columbus ‘discovered’ America 

·       Start of the violent colonization of the Western hemisphere 

·       Columbus and others committed violent acts and enslaved the people who already were living on the American continent 

§  1937 – Columbus Day becomes federal holiday 

·       Efforts to display a positive white image as an American historical figure signifying the greatness

§  The Red Power Movement, during and after the Civil Rights Movement, gave birth to Indigenous Peoples’ day. “The Red Power Movement aimed to make American Indian people politically visible in an American society throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s.”  

§  Late 1980s – “South Dakota first backed a resolution to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.”

§  1992, Berkeley, CA, 500-year anniversary of Columbus’s arrival linked Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Columbus Day 

·       https://www.history.com/news/goodbye-columbus-hello-indigenous-peoples-day  

§  Currently honored “in Minnesota, Alaska, Maine, Louisiana, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, and Vermont, as well as South Dakota, which celebrate Native Americans’ Day, and Hawaii, which celebrates Discover’s Day.” https://www.history.com/news/goodbye-columbus-hello-indigenous-peoples-day 

§  11 states and 129 U.S. cities celebrate according to https://indiancountrytoday.com/events/indigenous-everything-a-list-of-indigenous-peoples-day-events-Mlu7oage6k6kR9vx9PHDVw  

o   Minnesota 

§  2014 – Minneapolis becomes first MN city to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day 

·       Red Wing and Grand Rapids followed suit the same year 

§  2015 – Saint Paul replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day 

§  2016 – Gov. Mark Dayton issued statewide proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 

·       https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/10/11/gatherings-for-indigenous-peoples-day-in-minnesota  

  • Purpose of the day 

o   Recognizing the atrocities of colonization while also acknowledging history/celebrating the contributions of Native and American Indian peoples 

o   Day to help counterbalanced the previous narrative

§  https://www.history.com/news/goodbye-columbus-hello-indigenous-peoples-day