Indigenous Peoples Day

By Canyon Chronicle Staff

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October 13, 2023 While Columbus Day remains a federal holiday that was observed on Monday, Oct. 9, a movement has been growing for decades to replace it and celebrate the day as Indigenous Peoples Day. President Biden was the first president to acknowledge the idea in 2021 and on September 30, 2021, Congress introduced The Indigenous Peoples Day Act (H.R. 5473) “to designate Indigenous Peoples Day as a legal public holiday and replace the term ‘Columbus Day’ with the term ‘Indigenous Peoples Day….’” The day, although a celebration, is also meant to remember and reflect on the brutal history of the colonization of tribal nations, as well as a day of protest and resistance. On Monday, Oct. 9, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed, for the fifth time, Indigenous People’s Day 2023 for California: “For the fifth year in a row, the State of California proclaims today as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, recognizing the integral role of Indigenous peoples in the origins, evolution and future of this state. Home to the largest and most diverse population of Indigenous peoples prior to European contact, California inherits a rich, Indigenous cultural legacy while bearing the responsibility of its historical role in the near-destruction of California Native peoples through their violent dislocation. Now, as we continue our journey toward atonement for those actions, we must learn from our mistakes by fostering a California that is safe, sustainable and embraces all. “Humankind as a whole currently finds itself in a battle to survive the existential threats of climate change, income inequality and cultural unrest, and nowhere is this more starkly felt than in Indigenous communities across the globe. These stressors are not only changing the world more rapidly than we can process or address, they are rendering the ancestral homelands of many virtually uninhabitable. It is our charge then, when these conditions persist, to call upon our core human values and welcome those who can no longer sustain their lives, liberties and happiness in the places they hold most dear…. “In that spirit, today we again disclaim the celebration of conquest whose legacy continues to displace and degrade the original peoples of this land, instead calling on Californians to embrace and celebrate the excellence and dignity of Indigenous peoples everywhere.” For suggestions on how to observe the holiday with respect for Indigenous cultures: unexpectedvirtualtours.com.

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October 13, 2023

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