Indigenous Peoples' Day is a day to celebrate and honor the rich cultures, history, and contributions of Native and Indigenous peoples.This can be a difficult topic to discuss with kids as they may have learned a very different history of this day in school or at home. Here are some places to start in bringing up this conversation with your kids:
Who are Indigenous people?
Indigenous people are the first people who live in a place. In North America, they are sometimes called Native Americans. There are many different Indigenous groups, each with its own unique traditions, languages, and histories.
What is Indigenous Peoples' Day?
Indigenous Peoples' Day has its roots in 1977 when Native American activists proposed a holiday to honor their heritage and counteract anti-Indigenous discrimination. It wasn't until the late 1980's when South Dakota was the first state to officially recognize this day.It was in the early 90's when discussion began to use this day to replace Columbus Day, which had been celebrated for a long time, even though Christopher Columbus didn't discover America.
As we celebrate Indigenous People's Day, it's important to know that Indigenous communities faced many challenges throughout history. When European settlers arrived, they brought new diseases, like smallpox, which made many Indigenous people sick. They also took over their land, enslaved people, and sometimes forced them to move to different places. We call this "colonization."
Resilience and culture
Even though Indigenous people faced many challenges, they never gave up on their traditions and cultures. They passed down their stories, songs, dances, and languages from generation to generation. Today, we can still see the vibrant and diverse cultures of Indigenous people all across North America.
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