Monday, October 12, 2015

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

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Advancing Indigenous Peoples' 
Rights and 
Cultures Worldwide.

Art by Louie Gong.

12 Things to Do to Commemorate Indigenous Peoples
on "Columbus Day"

Christopher Columbus arrived as an immigrant to "the New World." He did not "discover" America. He was not a hero, he was a war criminal. Today, let's remember and celebrate the Peoples who were here first!

Last year, both Seattle and Minneapolis voted to stop recognizing "Columbus Day" in favor of Indigenous Peoples' Day, shifting the holiday's focus from Columbus to the people he encountered in the New World and their modern-day descendants. Inspired by this movement, the University of Alaska Southeast, Oklahoma University and even Fargo, North Dakota recently voted to also embrace Indigenous People's Day.

In the past two months, eight cities got rid of Columbus Day in favor of adopting Indigenous Peoples' Day. Three of those cities adopted Indigenous Peoples' Day this week: Albuquerque, NM, Lawrence, KS, Portland, OR, St. Paul, MN, Bexar County, TX, Anadarko, OK, Olympia, WA, Alpena, MI. Oklahoma City came close to passing it in September and will try to pass it again on October 13th, the day after the holiday.

We can all take example from these cases and take action for change. 

1. Watch and Share Reconsider Columbus Day by NuHeightzCinema  

Reconsider Columbus Day
Reconsider Columbus Day

2. Sign a Petition to President Obama to Change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day
take action now

3. Reconsider what you were taught in history class about the "discovery of America" with this short animated film, History vs. Christopher Columbus.

4.  Brush up on your knowledge of Indigenous Peoples. Watch First Light.
"First Light" Trailer

First Light independently documents the work of the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the first such task force to investigate issues important to Native Americans. The TRC was dedicated to uncovering and acknowledging the truth about what happened to Wabanaki children and families involved with the child welfare system.

5. Celebrate Indigenous Leaders
Learn about and celebrate some of the incredible Indigenous leaders from U.S. history and contemporary times. Here are some resources to get you started:
            Great Chiefs and Leaders
            Women in Leadership
             Youth Leaders
Show these leaders some love and spread the word! #IndigenousLeaders

6. Take Action by Getting Involved in the Anti-mascot Movement
There are still more than 1,000 high school, university and professional teams that continue to have Native American mascots. Though changes have been made at the high school and college levels, at the professional level there has been virtually no change. Start the change in your community. Check out our Abolishing Racist Native Mascots: A Toolkit for Change.

7. Read and share these great articles:
By Indian Country Today.  


8. Come to a Cultural Survival Bazaar in Amherst, MA.

The Amherst Bazaar falls on "Columbus Day" weekend, a holiday that many Indigenous Peoples in the US and their allies are working to rename and reframe as "Indigenous Peoples' Day." Celebrate and support Indigenous Peoples on this day by attending the Cultural Survival Bazaar, taste Indigenous foods, listen to Indigenous music and stories, and support Indigenous communities by buying art that benefits their cultures. 

October 10, 11, & 12, 2015
Amherst Common
Boltwood Ave.
Amherst, MA 01002
10am to 5pm

Mayan hip hop performances by Tz'utu Kan, whom we welcome for the first time to perform rhythms that express interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar through Mayan sounds and intercultural borrowing from Native American, Andean, Rastafarian, hip hop, and dancehall rhythms.

9. Participate in a People's Climate Movement Event

With increasing awareness about the connection between climate change and social and economic inequality, the environmental movement has begun to blossom into a holistic struggle for  justice. This fall, front-line communities impacted by the environmental crisis and climate change, are joining with workers, people of faith, students, immigrants, racial, climate and economic justice activists and other community members, to call for bold action on climate at the local, national and global levels. Look for an event in your area here. 

10. Learn about the American Precolonial Roots of Democracy. 
American democracy was founded on the principles of The Great Law of Peace founded by the Haudenosaunne People (Iroquois) in the Northeast. Read more.

Our work is only possible because of people like you, who believe in and support our mission to advocate for Indigenous Peoples' rights and support Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures, and political resilience. Please donate today. 
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12. Spread the Word!
 One of the easiest and most effective things you can do is raise awareness about Indigenous Peoples. Forward, post this message on facebook, or tweet it! 
#AbolishColumbusDay #IndigenousPeoplesDay


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As always, we welcome your comments. Please send your feedback and suggestions to

Cultural Survival advocates for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supports Indigenous communities' self-determination, cultures and political resilience since 1972.  

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