October 12 marked Indigenous People’s day, a shift of focus to celebrating Native Americans, instead of Christopher Columbus. Indigenous People’s Day is growing in recognition across states, with Virginia being the most recent to adopt the day of recognition of achievements of Native Americans to the fabric of our society.
So why shift the day from recognizing Christopher Columbus to indigenous people? A result of decades of activism by Native Americans, the push is to shed light on the atrocities that Columbus carried out in his lifetime, such as rape and genocide of the indigenous groups he encountered. But beyond that, the day is to celebrate Native American cultures, and also recognize the unique challenges that they face in their fight for justice and autonomy.
Now in November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month. A month of recognition created in 1990, the month is meant to celebrate and recognize the achievements and contributions of Native Americans to the fabric of American culture and society. You can find some resources and events on the topic here.
Did you know that AACRAO has a Native American Caucus?
Comprised of members who largely work at tribal colleges and universities, this Caucus is a space for folks to gather and bounce ideas, concerns, and just converse with their peers. Join today.