10:30am - 11:45am
Reclaiming History and Dignity: Indigenous People's Day
What does it mean to be a people of courage? Colonialism left a template of violent racism, exploitation, genocide, and environmental destruction. "Indigenous Peoples Day" re-imagines Columbus Day and changes a celebration of colonialism into an opportunity to reveal historical truths about the genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas, to organize against current injustices, and to celebrate indigenous resistance.The idea of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day was born in 1977, at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. Fourteen years later, activists in Berkeley, CA, convinced the Berkeley City Council to declare October 12 a "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People." Henceforth, there has been a growing movement to appropriate "Columbus Day" as "Indigenous People's Day"; states such as South Dakota, Hawai’i, and Alaska have changed the holiday’s name and many more cities have taken similar action. What can we do to support America's first peoples and to dismantle the effects of the doctrine of discovery?