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Mtn. Talk: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Mtn. Talk: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Print by Jesus Barraza of the Just Seeds Artist Cooperative.

In this episode of Mountain Talk we’re celebrating, and learning about, Indigenous People’s Day.  Many states across the nation celebrate Columbus Day in early October, but a growing number have done away with a celebration of Columbus, and instead, celebrate Indigenous Histories and Presents.

We spoke with Bonnie Brown, coordinator of West Virginia University’s Native American Studies Program.  Brown talks about the legacy of genocide sparked by Columbus’s arrival in North America. Then, we hear from Angela Arnett Garner, from the Legislative Committee of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission.  Garner talks about her work organizing across the state to encourage towns and cities to pass proclamations recognizing Indigenous People’s Day.

Dozens of cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day already.  As of the time of this posting the national list of cities & counties is:

Los Angeles CA, Los Angeles County CA, Berkeley CA, Santa Cruz CA, San Fernando CA, Burbank CA, Long Beach CA, San Luis Obispo CA, Watsonville CA, Seattle WA, Olympia WA, Spokane WA, Bainbridge Island WA, Minneapolis MN, Grand Rapids MN, St. Paul MN, Denver CO, Durango CO, Boulder CO, Phoenix AZ, Ann Arbor MI, Traverse City MI, Alpena MI, East Lansing MI, Ypsilanti MI, Albuquerque NM, Santa Fe NM, Portland OR, Eugene OR, Newstead NY, Lewiston NY, Ithaca NY, Anadarko OK, Norman OK, Tulsa OK, Tahlequah OK, Carrboro NC, Asheville NC, Belfast ME, Bangor ME, Orono ME, Brunswick ME, Portland ME, Austin TX, Bexar County TX, Cambridge MA, Amherst MA, Northampton MA, Harpers Ferry WV, Lawrence KS, Davenport IA, Durham NH, Moscow ID, Oberlin OH, Salt Lake City UT, Nashville TN, Stanford KY, and Madison WI.

As do the entire states of Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska, and South Dakota.

According to Angela Arnett Garner, the towns and counties in Kentucky that passed proclamations this year are

Louisville, Springfield, Perryville, Berea, Richmond, Prestonsburg, London, Corbin, Livingston, Mt. Vernon, Brodhead, Crab Orchard, Harrodsburg, Junction City, Lancaster, Hopkinsville, Taylorsville, Frankfort, Somerset, Burnside, Russell Springs, Liberty, Science Hill and Stanford, as well as Madison and Lincoln counties.

If you’d like to learn more about Native American histories as well as settler colonialism in the United States, Bonnie Brown suggests the following resources:

In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America & the UN Declaration on the Rights of indigenous Peoples By Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee). Published by Fulcrum Publishing.

In the Courts of the Conqueror: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided By Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee). Published by Fulcrum Publishing

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus By Charles C. Mann. Published by Vintage Books, a Division of Random House

A People’s History of the united States By Howard Zinn. Published by HarperCollins.

The Native American Rights Fund

The National Congress of American Indians




appalachian history,
Indigenous History,
Indigenous Peoples' Day,
Native American History,