Today, 14 US states, 130 US cities, and the District of Columbia are holding celebrations in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This movement to commemorate Native American history and culture in lieu of Columbus Day has been a hard-fought one – dating back to its original proposal 30 years ago at the UN. And although this small bit of progress is reason to celebrate, there’s still much more work to be done to secure, uphold, and include this diverse community of 5.6 million Americans.
Centuries of harm, displacement, and disenfranchisement cannot be erased in a single day. The journey to support and uplift Native American communities must continue year-round. Here we’ve assembled a few suggestions to guide our journey toward greater inclusion of Native Americans within our society and the workplace.
Begin by learning more about the land you stand on.
“Native Land Digital is the organization behind the online tool Native Land— an interactive platform that allows users to learn more about Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages across the world. Native Land Digital believes that all settlers have a responsibility to recognize the history and legacy of colonialism, and that territory acknowledgement is one step toward awareness of Indigenous presence and land rights in everyday life.” – Kalliopeia Foundation
Support Native-Owned food businesses.
“Food is the ultimate connection between humans and the land, and many of these entrepreneurs are continuing their traditions, just as their ancestors have done before them.” – 12 Native-Owned Food Businesses to Support on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Civil Eats
Learn an Indigenous language.
“In 2018, over 3,000 languages were at risk of being lost forever. Last year, the, president of the United Nations General Assembly said that two indigenous languages are at risk of disappearing each month. The language learning software company partnered with the nonprofit 7000 Languages to help advocates from endangered language groups to preserve their language in online courses.”– Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Learn an Indigenous or Endangered Language with this App, CNet
Share with your children literature by and featuring Native Americans.
“This list is by Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL). AICL provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.” – Social Justice Books: A Teaching for Change Project
Add these Indigenous films to your Netflix queue.
“In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day I wanted to provide a thread of acclaimed shows and films that feature Indigenous peoples! The film industry has such a violent legacy with native peoples, things need to be better. These are some of my favorite shows/films growing up.” – Charitie Ropati, Native Alaskan Student Activist, Twitter
Support Indigenous rights groups.
“If you want to show where you stand on Oct. 12, you could consider looking into the various organizations that are working to protect, support, and empower Native Americans and other Indigenous people across the world.” – Eight Indigenous Rights Groups To Support On Indigenous Peoples’ Day This Year, Bustle