Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Action
In solidarity with our Native sisters and brothers,
Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team
Words matter. Actions matter more.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a Call to Action
Started in Berkeley, California, in 1992, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Columbus in the Americas on October 12, 1492, Indigenous Peoples’ Day has spread across many cities, 16 states, and the District of Columbia. Some states use different names; some celebrate on different dates. This year, President Biden issued a proclamation designating October 11, 2021, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, stating in part: “On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, our Nation celebrates the invaluable contributions and resilience of Indigenous peoples, recognizes their inherent sovereignty, and commits to honoring the Federal Government’s trust and treaty obligations to Tribal Nations.”
Recently, researchers found footprints of children and teenagers in southern New Mexico that are at least 22,000 years old, giving scientific credence to other signs pointing to very early human occupation of North America.
Despite genocide, colonization, and concerted attempts at cultural obliteration, Native cultures have persevered and flourished, and recent months have seen some landmark victories. Deb Haaland of the Laguna Pueblo people is the first Native American Cabinet Secretary. After more than ten years, the Keystone XL pipeline has officially been abandoned. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments have been restored to their original size. Following years of campaigning by Native Americans for federal recognition, President Joe Biden issued the first ever presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Words matter. Actions matter more. PDA joins Native American activists and allies to stop construction on other invasive pipelines, end domestic fossil fuel subsidies, put people and planet over profit in federal policy and budget priorities, and expand voting rights and accessibility to all eligible citizens. Click here to volunteer on environmental projects and here to help PDA expand voting rights. It is vital that we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with actions as well as words.