How Indigenous Peoples Day Counters ‘500 Years of Oppression’ | Link TV
How Indigenous Peoples Day Counters ‘500 Years of Oppression’
There’s a chance your city already observes Indigenous Peoples Day, or that leaders are considering joining the more than 90 locations in the U.S. that have declared the second Monday in October a day to celebrate Native American history and culture. Perhaps you live in South Dakota, the first state to establish Native American Day in 1989. Or you might live near Berkeley, the first city to replace Columbus Day in 1992. Regardless, on Oct. 8, you can join people across the country in celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, a counter-celebration of the federally recognized Columbus Day. The observance was created to raise awareness and reverse the celebration of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, which marked the beginning of European colonization and genocide of indigenous communities.
The idea of rejecting a holiday honoring Columbus was formally discussed for the first time at an international conference about discrimination against indigenous populations, hosted by the United Nations in Geneva in 1977. This discussion inspired representatives of 120 indigenous groups throughout the Americas to gather in Quito, Ecuador in 1990, to reject the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s landing in America (present-day Haiti) in 1992. The group denounced the “500 years of oppression, which the invaders, in complicity with the ‘democratic’ governments of our countries, want to turn into events of jubilation and celebration.” Northern California attendees of the Quito conference returned home and organized a coalition to uphold the declaration and protest a massive Columbus Day celebration in San Francisco in 1992. The federally-funded celebration included a reenactment of Columbus’s ships landing under the Golden Gate Bridge. A group of about 4,000 demonstrators blocked off the entrance to the San Francisco Bay with kayaks and boats, preventing the Columbus impersonators from “landing.” The group also mobilized to institute the first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Berkeley in 1992.
Below we have compiled six of your favorite Link TV stories about the culture, suffering and resilience of indigenous communities. Stay tuned for the November premiere of “Tending Nature,” a new series exploring how indigenous peoples have actively shaped and tended the land for millennia.
In the mid-1800s, Native Americans were forcibly removed from what is today MacKerricher State Park in Mendocino County. It was one of a series of forced marches of indigenous Californians.
Native American basketry has long been viewed as a community craft, yet the artistic quality and value of these baskets are on par with other fine art. Now Native peoples across the country are revitalizing basketry traditions.
The first thing Wukchumni elder Marie Wilcox wants people to learn is the true way to pronounce “Yokuts,” the broad and sweeping name that means “the people,” given to all the peoples living throughout California’s great Central Valley and up into the Sierra before colonization. As the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language, she is creating a dictionary to keep her language alive.
Founded on a history of indigenous erasure, critical surf studies unravel the conventional narratives of surf culture in Hawaii, California, and beyond.
Ancient farmers domesticated corn, or maize, about 9,000 years ago in the Rio Balsas River region of present-day Mexico. Eventually, entire communities flourished alongside maize crops. Corn traveled to Europe in the post-Columbus world and spread across the continent. But real and long-lasting problems arose when corn became a commodity crop as early as the 1700s in Europe. In the 19th-century rural South, sharecroppers grew it, sold it, ate it, and became sick — all because of a lost recipe.
A Navajo proverb states, "We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." Raquel Redshirt is finding solar solutions to overcome the lack of resources she sees in her Navajo Nation community in New Mexico.
Top image: Thunderbird performs with the indigenous band Aztlan Underground on Hollywood Boulevard during an event celebrating Los Angeles County's decision to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on October 8, 2017. | David McNew/Getty Images
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After Pearl Harbor, nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent were sent to relocation camps, bereft of their belongings and removed from their communities. These photos are a glimpse of the strength of spirit they found in art during those times.
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