Today marks the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day (what we, in the U.S., have commonly recognized as Columbus Day). In the Indigenous communities, this has been a controversial “holiday” since it highlights a time in their story where the stripping of their land and culture began. It was not until the current year of 2021 that a presidential proclamation got issued to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October. While recognizing this holiday is an important first step, there is still work to be done, including increasing visibility of Indigenous people in mainstream culture; examining and working to change the ways that Indigenous people are discriminated against and disproportionately impacted by issues such as climate change, violence, health and access to care; and protecting their land from threats including mining, drilling, and deforestation.
Here are some ways to support indigenous communities, both on this day and throughout the year.
- Learn about the land you live on using this link
- Learn more about the culture of the indigenous people that inhabited this land before you
- Help protect indigenous land rights throughout the world. You can donate to organizations that are working to protect these lands and cultural traditions
- Include Indigenous communities in discussions about climate change as they historically are strongly connected to the land and have a different understanding of ecological practices that benefit the land and therefore the people on it as well
Want to learn more?
Check out how Oregon is celebrating today.