Shifting Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Boise State University is changing its focus from recognizing Columbus Day to honoring Indigenous People’s Day. The shift has been a long time coming, with Native American Boise State students having spent years petitioning and raising awareness about the importance on focusing on Native resiliency and contributions. In spring of 2016 the Intertribal Native Council (INC) introduced a bill that would recognize Indigenous People’s Day. The Associated Students of Boise State (ASBSU) passed the resolution declaring October 10, 2016 Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Boise State University. Read the resolution here or request an accessible version by calling (208) 426-5950.
Learn more about Indigenous People and Indigenous People’s Day:
- Ten ways to honor Indigenous People’s Day
- Click here to learn more about Columbus as a controversial figure.
- Read this cnn.com article from 2014 to learn why Seattle and Minneapolis changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- Explore here for more information about schools trying to clarify Columbus’ role in history.
- Read this NY Times book review of Columbus: The Four Voyages by Laurence Bergreen. If you’re interested in reading the book, Albertsons Library has a copy.
Celebrating Native American Culture
What do bunk beds, lacrosse and chewing gum have in common? All were invented by Native Americans. Click here to read about 10 Native inventions that changed the world.
The Seventh Generation
The philosophy of Seven Generations has come to represent sustainability and can be found found in the Constitution of the Iroquois Nations:
Many Native American nations and tribes live by the philosophy of judging their actions based on how it will impact their people in seven generations, not only environmentally but in all aspects of their lives. Native American activist, Vine Deloria, Jr. spoke of the seven generations in a different way. Each generation is responsible to teach, learn, and protect the three generations that come before it, its own, and the next three. In this way the seven generations are maintained. Read more about Deloria’s perspective.
Native American Regalia
It’s not a costume, outfit or uniform. It’s called regalia and is unique to each dancer and dance at a powwow.
A piece of regalia you may have seen in magazines, music videos or powwows is the headdress, however it is important to note:
- Headdresses hold different significance within each tribe.
- The right to wear a headdress or war bonnet has to be earned.
- One feather at a time is earned for great deeds.
- The headdress is not a common item to own.
Models and sports fans are often seen wearing inauthentic headdresses as fashion pieces but this isn’t a respectful way to appreciate the native culture. To wear regalia without understanding its significance is an insult to one who has earned it.
Learn more about the war bonnet here: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-americas/native-north-america/native-american-west/a/feathered-war-bonnet
Native American Movements
Honor the Treaties is a movement driven by art, community, and media. It’s the result of a TED talk by Aaron Huey. The focus is on bringing awareness to treaty violations and native issues through street art. Learn more at The Amplifier Foundation. http://theamplifierfoundation.org/experiments/honor-the-treaties/ or watch the TED video here.
The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in 1968 to encourage self-determination among Native Americans and to establish international recognition of their treaty rights. Explore a brief history of AIM here.
Idle No More is a movement started by Nina Wilson, Sheelah McLean, Sylvia Mcadam, and Jessica Gordon in 2012. Idle No More is focused on tribal rights to sovereignty, and protecting the water and land. Learn more online.