More than 50 USA cities celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day Monday in place of the federal holiday honoring Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer who massacred and enslaved Arawak indigenous people while opening the door to the European colonization of the Americas. For decades, Native American activists have tried to get rid of Columbus Day. This, after several years of stopgap measures to institute a Indigenous Peoples Day in the past.
Grand Rapids also passed an Indigenous Peoples Day resolution in 2014.
"It's definitely grown in scale", said Haylee Kushi '18 (Kanaka Maoli), president of the ANAAY.
"Indigenous Peoples Day is a ideal opportunity for all Alaskans, whether you're from a Native cultural background or not, to learn about 10,000 years of history", Caulfield said. According to Kushi, Dorame's appointment a little over two years ago has helped ease the challenges students from indigenous backgrounds face when applying to Yale and drawn attention to the value they bring to the campus community.
As Alaska residents celebrated their state's roots on its first Indigenous Peoples Day, community leaders made sure all those gathered know that the future of Alaska's native traditions is bright. "But I am going to recognize our indigenous people who have been here for thousands of years". "The history of this land continues to be written by indigenous people", Mallot added.
One woman with a deep Monacan heritage says this recognition is a step in the right direction.
Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun told the News that while he regretted not being able to attend numerous program's scheduled events, he was glad he participated in Monday's celebration because he "wanted to support all the students who were involved in it, and to learn from it".
"Columbus obviously had a very negative impact upon indigenous people here in what became the United States".