Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Posted on October 8th, 2021 by

“Native American Dancer 1” by ahisgett is licensed under CC BY 2.0

On Monday, October 11, 2021, we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, honoring the cultures, histories and futures of our nation’s Indigenous peoples. Although the holiday is not yet federally recognized, it has been increasingly celebrated over the past decades. The fact that it lands on the same day traditionally observed as Columbus Day is not an accident. Indigenous Peoples’ Day invites us to rethink history, including how Columbus’ arrival in Guanahani led to the enslavement  of Indigenous populations. Indigenous Peoples’ Day asks us to recognize both the destructive actions the United States has taken against Indigenous peoples and to celebrate and commemorate the enduring cultures, activism, beliefs and practices of Indigenous peoples.

Gustavus itself was built on lands belonging to the Dakota people. The campus has drafted several land acknowledgement statements, including this one:

We acknowledge that Gustavus is located on the homelands of the Dakota people, whose spiritual traditions include the belief that this land, along with the creatures and people living on it, are their relatives.  The Minnesota River, which passes through Saint Peter, and its watershed are sacred places; these waters and lands are interconnected with Dakota culture, language, creation stories, and spiritual rites. In spite of a traumatic history that includes forced removal and attempted extermination, Dakota people still live and practice their culture on these homelands today. We seek to honor our neighbors who are Dakota by learning more about our interrelated histories and through building relationships in order to co-create a better future for the people and creatures living within these ecosystems today.

You can learn more about the Native Lands where you live through the Native Land Digital project.

There are many ways to celebrate and further educate yourself in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day! Here are a few suggestions:


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