Today across Turtle Island (also known as the United States), millions are celebrating the resiliency within themselves and within their communities. They are celebrating and honoring those that came before them and those that will come after them. They are celebrating perseverance and determination. They are celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day.
As of this year 19 cities including Los Angeles, Austin, and Salt Lake City, have joined the 36 cities across the county who already recognize Indigenous Peoples Day rather than Columbis day.
Indigenous Peoples Day honors the original peoples of this land and celebrates the resilience of those who to this day are fighting systems of oppression that began the moment Columbus and Spanish conquistadors landed in Taíno and Arawak territories (also known as the Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
Now let’s make it clear that Indigenous Peoples day is not an attack on those who have immigrated to the U.S. There are those who came this “new world” because their leaders were failing them and there are those that had no choice. This day doesn’t exist to disregard anyone’s story but rather to share the full story. Indigenous Peoples Day is here to tell the full truth of what happened when colonizers landed on Turtle Island and to also uplift the truth that colonization is still happening. Whether it’s pipelines, or man camps, or loss of culture and language, these are symptoms disregarding the humanity of Indigenous Peoples.
This day urges us to take a hard look at what we learned in grade school and to accept that perhaps we were lied to and that Columbus and other conquistadors such as Oñate or Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca were not heroes.
Rather the heroes are those who survived colonization and those who are here now and are carrying on the legacy of their ancestors by protecting Indigenous culture and knowledge.
In honor of uplifting Indigenous voices and stories, Indigenous Rising Media would like to feature 7 Indigenous activists, educators, entrepreneurs that you should be following!
They share with us what they are protecting and defending, in honor of their own resilience and the resilience of their ancestors.
Check them out, support, and share!
Eryn Wise: I LOVE that we as Indigenous folx are finally demanding the space to reclaim the strength and powers that our ancestors left behind for us. Indigenous Peoples’ Day to me is a way in which we can be seen, heard and recognized as combatting the white supremacy that has socialized our people to be dependent on the systems of oppression we’re trying to dismantle. It’s just one day — but it’s our day. A day to honor the ancestors that came before, whose very existence laid the foundation for my continual resistance.
Joey Montoya: Indigenous Peoples Day is imporat because it gives people a chance to remember that Indigenous people are not of the past. That we are still here, working in and around our communties to see out lanuage, teachings, and culture thrive. It’s a time where we as Indigenous Peoples can also reflect and rember the ancestors, elders, and family, who continue to support us. Everyday I remeber my acnestors who risked so much for us to be here.
Lyla June: Honoring Indigenous Peoples Day gives us a chance to educate ourselves about hidden histories and distortions of history. It also helps us see that what is now known at the United States, has a tradition of glorifying conquest in ways that do not ring true for much of the present generation. This is not who we want to be anymore as a collective of humans living on this sacred land. This goes for not only native Americans, but many non-natives as well.