The Meaning of Indigenous Peoples' Day
October 11, 2021
Cited article by Emma Bowman, NPR
The Biden Administration took historic action by officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day, renaming the former nationally-recognized holiday, Columbus Day. The White House announced the decision on October 8th, acknowledging "centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation, and terror" that targeted and affected Native Americans.
The recognition of this day in an official capacity is a step towards countering the whitewashing of American history. The request to rename Columbus Day in honor of Indigenous peoples was first proposed at a United Nations conference in 1977, in the hopes of addressing some of the ongoing discrimination against Indigenous people. While some states chose to recognize the day before this, today is the first time Indigenous Peoples' Day was formally celebrated across the United States.
HRRC celebrates the White House's decision to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day and seeks to further the educational value of teaching accurate histories. This is a step towards furthering the public understanding of history and acknowledging the long-term trauma that has been experienced by Indigenous Americans.