Tag Archives: Indigenous People’s Day

Truck Hits Crowd Of Native American Activists During Indigenous People’s Day Rally In Reno (VIDEO)

Teen driver hits crowd of Columbus Day protesters

By Red Power Media, Staff | Oct 11, 2016

Police continue to investigate a case in which five people were sent to hospital after being hit by a truck during a confrontation at a rally as part of Indigenous People’s Day in downtown Reno, Nevada.

On Monday evening a man rammed his truck through a group of Native American activists protesting the observance of Columbus Day – also in solidarity with the fight against the controversial Dakota Access pipeline.

According to CBS News, the founder of a Native American rights group that was rallying in Reno, when the pickup truck plowed through protesters wants to know why police haven’t arrested the driver.

One woman remained hospitalized Tuesday with non-life threatening injuries. Four others suffered minor injuries in what one witness described as a hate crime.

Another said two men in the truck had been yelling obscenities at the protesters earlier in the day.

A Facebook Live video of the protest shows a pickup truck revving its engine in front of the crowd under the Reno Arch. Several protesters confronted the driver and the passenger before the truck drives through the crowd.

The driver of the white Nissan pickup stopped several blocks away and called police “to provide his account of the events,” Reno Police Sgt. James Pitsnogel said in a statement early Tuesday.

The 18-year-old male driver and a 17-year-old passenger have been questioned but no arrests were made.

CBS Reno affiliate KTVN-TV reports that the 40 or so gathered protesters did not have a permit, and that protesters said they were there supporting the nationwide movement to abolish Columbus Day and to bring awareness to hate against indigenous people.

The driver of a white Nissan truck encounters protesters at a DAPL march before driving through the crowd on Monday night. Five were injured and one hospitalized following the incident.<br />

The driver of a white Nissan truck encounters protesters at a DAPL march before driving through the crowd on Monday night. Five were injured and one hospitalized following the incident.
(Photo: Provided by Louis Magriel)

Mike Graham, founder of the Oklahoma-based United Native American Association, said he planned to meet with Reno police Tuesday to find out more about the incident.

“We are truly upset that he is not in custody. He left the scene of an accident,” he told The Associated Press.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said Tuesday she takes the matter “very seriously.”

“Public safety is our highest priority and I want all Reno residents to know that we are working swiftly and diligently to make sense of the events that took place last night,” she said Tuesday afternoon in a statement on behalf of herself and the city council.

“The Reno Police Department will hold anyone responsible accountable for their actions once the investigation has concluded,” Schieve said, adding that she respects an individual or group’s right to conduct lawful protest.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Reno Police Department.

Indigenous People In Ottawa Want To Reclaim Thanksgiving Day, Columbus Day

Drummers perform at the first "Indigenous Resistance Day" at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre in Ottawa on Oct. 10, 2015. (CBC Ottawa)

Drummers perform at the first “Indigenous Resistance Day” at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre in Ottawa on Oct. 10, 2015. (CBC Ottawa)

CBC News

Seattle and Minneapolis renamed the American holiday Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’

 It’s a movement in many American jurisdictions, and now people in Ottawa’s indigenous community want to reclaim Thanksgiving Day — also known as Columbus Day in the United States — to honour the cultures that existed in the Americas long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

The Odawa Native Friendship Centre held an “Indigenous Resistance Day” on Saturday, with a potluck, film screenings, music, and discussions.

Celebrating ‘resistance and resilience’

“It started off as kind of an anti-Columbus Day, but what we wanted to do was to have more relationships and dialogue with indigenous people from across Turtle Island, across the Americas,” said Odawa president Christopher Wong.

Thanksgiving’s a traditional day for indigenous people as a celebration of harvest.’Odawa Native Friendship Centre president Christopher Wong

“People [like] our Mayan and Aztec brothers, indigenous people from up north, Cree, Ojibway, Haudenosaunee, and just get them celebrate our resistance and resilience for surviving the last 500 years together,” he added.

U.S. cities like Seattle and Minneapolis have recently renamed the American holiday Columbus Day as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to recognize the indigenous people that lived in the Americas at the time of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in 1492, when he was credited for “discovering” the so-called “New World”.

That holiday falls on the same day as Canada’s Thanksgiving Day, and Wong believes it’s a good opportunity for people on both sides of the border to recognize Indigenous cultures.

“Thanksgiving’s a traditional day for indigenous people as a celebration of harvest,” Wong said. “And we wanted to reclaim the harvest aspect of it.”

Recognizing the cultures that historically thrived here before Columbus is important for Tito Medina, who’s Maya-Mestizo and originally from Guatemala.

Odawa Morgan Hare, Christopher Wong, Tito Medina

Morgan Hare (left) and Christopher Wong (middle) are part of the Odawa Native Friendship Centre. Tito Medina (right) came to Ottawa from Guatemala in 2003. (Waubgeshig Rice)

“We have over 25,000 years of building our culture,” said Medina.

Medina, his wife, and their two young daughters came to Ottawa as refugees in 2003, and soon found a home among the city’s indigenous community.

Medina regularly shares songs and stories from his culture at community events.

“We are so grateful that we developed these kinds of links, and then to learn about the situation of the First Nations people here,” he said.

‘Not about blaming each other’

Saturday’s Odawa event brought together people from different indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds. The hope was to start discussions about history and culture, in order to create a positive sense of community here in Ottawa.

“It’s not about blaming each other, but we talk about dignity, respect, love, compassion,” said Medina. “We need to know that after all these centuries, First Nations all across the continent have paid a big price in poverty, marginalization, genocide that is still happening.”

Wong believes the weekend gathering — which he hopes to make an annual event — offers the perfect opportunity to share at an important time of the year.

“Coming together as a community, reestablishing family ties and relationships, and getting ready for the winter,” he said. “In the same spirit, we want to invite all community members to come out and celebrate and prepare for the winter together.”


Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy As US Holiday

Historic painting of Christopher Columbus. He and his sailors stand in triumph at least on San Salvador, the Bahamas, on Oct. 12, 1492.

Historic painting of Christopher Columbus. He and his sailors stand in triumph at least on San Salvador, the Bahamas, on Oct. 12, 1492.

In the United States, October 12 is significant as the date explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. The achievement, which is commemorated on the second Monday of October, is a source of pride, particularly within the Italian-American community because Columbus was Italian. But for some the holiday is marked by controversy.

John Viola, president of the National Italian-American Foundation, said the significance of the holiday is varied.

“It’s an opportunity and holiday that we are able to celebrate what we’ve contributed to this country, to celebrate our history of our ancestors,” he said. “I think for the rest of the country, Columbus Day is a vehicle to celebrate this nation of immigrants.”

To some, Columbus was a great explorer. But others are offended by his legacy.

Joe Genetin-Pilawa, history professor at George Mason University, said the explorer enslaved many of the natives he encountered. Hundreds of thousands more died of diseases introduced by the European visitors.

“Within 10 years in the initial of landfall in 1492, so by 1502, we estimated that the Taino, the native people who lived in the Bahamas, the population dropped from approximately a million to 500,” he said.

Robert Holden, deputy director of the National Congress of American Indians, said the history of Columbus is distorted.

“It’s always been questionable in terms of native people’s tribe communities and how we look to what was written by non-native people for a non-native audience,” he said.

David Silverman, history professor at George Washington University, said the whole story should be told.

“I don’t think you need to focus on one aspect of his past and to neglect the other. You bring them both together and so that he becomes a three dimensional figure,” he said.

Indigenous People’s Day

Some in the United States choose to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day.

Genetin-Pilawa said the name of the holiday should be formally changed.

“I definitely think that we should question maintaining a federal holiday for Christopher Columbus. As to what day that could become, I support the creation of Indigenous People’s Day,” he said.

But Viola disagreed, saying Native Americans should find another day to celebrate their cultures.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for the indigenous community to find a day that they can rally around issues they can grab onto and an opportunity to say, ‘ok, hold on. Let’s talk about what this means to us,'” he said.

Source: http://www.voanews.com/content/columbus-day

US Movement Replacing Columbus Day With Events Honoring Native Americans Gains Steam


09 OCT 2015

About four miles from the world’s largest Christopher Columbus parade in midtown Manhattan on Monday, hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters will hold a sunrise prayer circle to honor ancestors who were slain or driven from their land.

The ceremony will begin the final day of a weekend “powwow” on Randall’s Island in New York’s East River, an event that features traditional dancing, story-telling and art.

The Redhawk Native American Arts Council’s powwow is both a celebration of Native American culture and an unmistakable counterpoint to the parade, which many detractors say honors a man who symbolizes centuries of oppression of aboriginal people by Europeans.

Organizers hope to call attention to issues of social and economic injustice that have dogged Native Americans since Christopher Columbus led his path-finding expedition to the “New World” in 1492.

The powwow has been held for the past 20 years but never on Columbus Day. It is part of a drive by Native Americans and their supporters throughout the country, who are trying to rebrand Columbus Day as a holiday that honors indigenous people, rather than their European conquerors. Their efforts have been successful in several U.S. cities this year.

“The fact that America would honor this man is preposterous,” said Cliff Matias, lead organizer of the powwow and a lifelong Brooklyn resident who claims blood ties with Latin America’s Taino and Kichwa nations. “It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”

But for many Italian Americans, who take pride in the explorer’s Italian roots, the holiday is a celebration of their heritage and role in building America. Many of them are among the strongest supporters of keeping the traditional holiday alive.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to drop Columbus Day, replacing it in 1992 with Indigenous Peoples Day. The trend has gradually picked up steam across the country.

Last year, Minneapolis and Seattle became the first major U.S. cities to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This month, Portland, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico and Bexar County, Texas, decided to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with the new holiday. Oklahoma City is set for a vote on a similar proposal later this month.

Columbus Day became a U.S. federal holiday in 1937. The federal government and about half of U.S. states give public employees paid leave, according to the Council of State Governments. Schools and government offices are generally closed, but many private businesses remain open.

Support for Indigenous Peoples Day has steadily risen in recent years, paralleling the growing perception that the wave of European settlement in the Western Hemisphere was genocidal to native populations.

Gino Barichello, who attended Berkeley city council meetings in the 1990s that resulted in the establishment of Indigenous Peoples Day, said he viewed the trend with pride.

“To have a recognition and celebration of all the indigenous cultures of the U.S., and Berkeley being one of the catalysts leading that charge, is very exciting,” said Barichello, who says he is half Italian and half Muscogee, a Native American tribe based in Oklahoma.

New York City, with the country’s largest Italian American population at 1.9 million, attracts nearly 35,000 marchers and nearly 1 million spectators to its annual Columbus Day parade.

The Columbus Citizens Foundation, a non-profit that organizes the parade, says on its website the event “celebrates the spirit of exploration and courage that inspired Christopher Columbus’s 1492 expedition and the important contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States.”

John Viola, president of the Washington, D.C.-based National Italian American Foundation, said renaming Columbus Day dishonors the country’s 25 million Italian Americans and their ancestors. He said Italian Americans feel slighted by cities that are dropping Columbus Day.

“By default, we’re like the collateral damage of this trend,” he said.

The foundation’s leadership council is scheduled later this month to take up the issue.

One of the proposals expected to be floated at the meeting is to change the name to Italian American Day, taking the spotlight off Columbus and other European explorers. Under this proposal, Indigenous People Day would be celebrated on a different day.

“I think many people believe there could be a middle road,” Viola said.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and David Gregorio)


Some Places Are Celebrating A Different Holiday On Columbus Day

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 13: Nikk "Red Weezil" Dakota (R), from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, celebrates with others from various tribes during Indigenous Peoples' Day events at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center on October 13, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Earlier that afternoon, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a resolution designating the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples' Day. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Nikk “Red Weezil” Dakota (R), from the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, celebrates with others from various tribes during Indigenous Peoples’ Day events at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center on October 13, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

By Sam Levine | Huffington Post

As Americans celebrate Columbus Day on Monday, a number of places are moving to recognize a different holiday.

Seattle and Minneapolis are among the locations that will celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” this year as part of an effort to recognize the marginalization of indigenous groups, who were already here when Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas and were nearly wiped out afterwards. The resolutions, which passed for the first time in both cities last year, will not replace Columbus Day, but rather recognize indigenous communities alongside Columbus.

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 13: People cheer during Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center on October 13, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. Earlier that afternoon, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a resolution designating the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples' Day, instead of teh traditional Columbus Day. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

People in Seattle celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2014. DAVID RYDER VIA GETTY IMAGES

While the resolutions can’t override the federal holiday, they are still an expression of the city’s intent to recognize indigenous communities, said Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant (D).

Advocates say the resolutions produce small but meaningful changes the cities. Minneapolis, for example, is working to change the language on its parking meters to say that holiday parking rules are in effect on Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day.

“I think for most people who know the reality of colonialism, imperialism, the genocide that happened of the indigenous community, for them the idea of celebrating all of that via Columbus Day is quite abhorrent,” Sawant said. “It was important to have the city of Seattle declare that they’re not going to be celebrating Columbus Day, they’re celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Sawant says, is also intended to draw attention to the way that indigenous communities continue to be marginalized and lack access to basic services. More than one in three native children live in poverty, and the high school dropout rate is the highest among any ethnic group in the country.

Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, has been recognized as a federal holiday since 1968. In addition to the places that celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Columbus Day, there are at least a dozen states that don’t celebrate the holiday at all. South Dakota and Hawaii recognize the day as Native American Day and Discoverers’ Day, respectively.

Alondra Cano (D), a Minneapolis council member who pushed for the resolution there, said that the city’s first celebration was a “really emotional day.” It was especially important for Native American children “who are going to grow up not having to feel ashamed or feel like something isn’t right when people talk about Columbus Day,” she said.

Even though Cano was able to get the resolution passed, there were objections along the way. Minneapolis Council President Barbara Johnson objected to the resolution and invoked scalping that her ancestors endured, according to Cano. A representative for the city’s labor unions opposed the resolution, Cano said, because she felt it diminished “the impacts of the wonderful things that Christopher Columbus had brought to the Americas.”

DAVID RYDER VIA GETTY IMAGES Seattle Council Member Kshama Sawant says that Indigenous Peoples' Day is intended to highlight the ways that the indigenous community continues to be marginalized.

Seattle Council Member Kshama Sawant says that Indigenous Peoples’ Day is intended to highlight the ways that the indigenous community continues to be marginalized. DAVID RYDER VIA GETTY IMAGES

Cano added that some of the persuasion necessary to get the resolution passed involved convincing people that not “everything good and great only happened when Christopher Columbus came.”

Martin Nigrelle, president of the Board of Directors at the Italian Community Hall in Seattle, said that the city’s Italian community felt that the resolution pitted them against the indigenous communities.

“We support the indigenous peoples having a day of recognition. I think we were offended that we weren’t included in the choice process and were offended that it was in some ways pointed at the days we celebrate,” he said. “We recognize that Columbus is, should we say, a flawed hero at best in terms of now that we can look at things with a historical perspective, but nonetheless the holiday has come to mean more than just one man for us in terms of its celebration.”

“It’s not really about whether they have the same day as us or not,” he added.

Both Sawant and Cano said that they hope the success of the resolutions in their respective cities encourages more places to pass similar measures. But they also hope the resolutions can have an impact beyond just one day.

“I think that we need a major shift away from the way history is taught in our schools and towards teaching the accurate history,” Sawant said. “Teaching this kind of history will empower people of color who come from people of color backgrounds, low income backgrounds to take real pride in their genuine issues.”