Indigenous Peoples’ Day, moving toward nationwide recognition


Ricardo Caté- Artist

Ricardo Caté of Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico, Native American cartoonist shares his painting with NorthEast Valley News.

Brenda Kochevar, Reporter

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a nationwide movement promoting the celebration of Native Americans and their contributions, past and present, in North America while diminishing the need for Columbus Day.

Last week, additional U.S. cities and states recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day to be on the second Monday of October.

After much debate, the Dallas City Council approved recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day even though native American leaders claimed that their compromise language “whitewashed” the resolution after changing some of the wording used around Christopher Columbus. Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers (D) signed Indigenous People’s Day through executive for the second Monday of October currently federally recognized as Columbus Day.

District of Columbia (D.C.) Council members fast-tracked the bill under emergency legislation.

More than 50 cities have already replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day since 1990. Hawaii observes Discoverers’ Day.

Alaska, Minnesota, North Carolina and Oregon currently observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Maine, New Mexico and Vermont followed this year.

Proud to be Native American, Andrea Mcdonald, a Maricopa Community College digital illustration student and member of the Pima Nation spoke with Northeast Valley News about being this not being just a day, but a way of life to celebrate.

“I don’t really mind, because we have our own holidays too,” McDonald said when asked about the Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Nicholas Galanin, Tlingit, Unangax̂, a world-known multi-disciplinary artist had further insight from his home in Sitka, Alaska.

“Let’s talk truths with history, let’s abolish Columbus day everywhere. It is Indigenous peoples’ day every day,” Galanin said.

Galanin’s work epitomizes Indigenous art while exploring the abuses inflicted on local Alaskan tribes.

Galanin’s art is displayed worldwide including recent exhibits at the Heard Museum, the Whitney Biennial and the upcoming Biennale of Sydney.