Juan Alvarez, Contributor
The day, formerly known as Columbus Day, has officially been recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day by the city of Minneapolis since 2014 and by the state of Minnesota since 2016. Augsburg students celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ day on Monday, October 8.
Student Body President Brandon Williams shared the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ day by publicly stating, “We recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and that we stand in solidarity with our Indigenous peers and community regarding Augsburg University.”
Students celebrated and honored Indigenous culture throughout the day. Activities such as discussing and sharing cultural experiences in the Foss Chapel, tabling in Christensen and co-sponsoring a screening an indigenous provided gave a wide variety of opportunities with which to engage.
American Indian Student Association President Arianna Antone-Ramirez shared her thoughts on the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day during chapel along with other AISA board members and other Indigenous students.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a day for people to be proud of their heritage and where they came from. Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ heritage and their culture,” said Antone-Ramirez.
Beyond celebrating, Antone-Ramirez also says the day is an opportunity to remember the past and ensure Indigenous people are remembered in the proper historical context.
“It’s an overwhelming emotion to know that this institution recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day and not Columbus Day. It’s crucial to know that this institution and institutions all over the United States sit on Indigenous land,” said Antone-Ramirez. “To know and that and to not further perpetuate the erasure of genocide and what happened to our people is to acknowledge that we are still here.”
AISA board members and volunteers also hosted a table in Christensen to quiz Augsburg students on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Students picked questions from a “Jeopardy”-style board to get a chance to win AISA merchandise, candy or bracelets.
AISA also co-sponsored a viewing of the movie “The Eagle and the Condor” in Sateren auditorium. The event was open to the public with discussion being held afterward. The movie is based around the Dakota Access Pipeline protests at Standing Rock.
“It’s important to remember Indigenous Peoples’ Day and not Columbus Day,” Antone-Ramirez said. “We should always remember too that Indigenous Peoples’ Day isn’t just one day to focus on Indigenous people, but we should always be doing that on a day-to-day basis.”
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Photo taken by Juan Davila. American Indian Student Association students tabling for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.