What is Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday meant to honor and commemorate Native Americans and their history and culture. The holiday is celebrated on the second Monday of October by hundreds of cities and counties across the United States of America. One of the first cities in Illinois to adopt the holiday officially was Oak Park, Illinois in 2017. Although Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not yet considered a national holiday, it has gained popularity in the past decade. However, there is hope that the holiday will gain even more national traction because President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation of the holiday on October 8, 2021.
The Importance of Indigenous People’s Day
Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas, millions of Native Americans resided all across North and South America. Since then, Indigenous folks have experienced centuries of trauma and tribulation. From the arrival of Columbus until the 1600s, 90% of the Indigenous population was killed due to slavery, mass genocides, and diseases. Thousands of years worth of rich history and cultures were destroyed. Today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Native Americans make up only 2.08% of the United States’ population. This is why honoring Native American stories and culture is so crucial. We must not ignore the tragedies that occurred throughout American history but rather, acknowledge the immense suffering that Native Americans have had to endure for generations. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we uplift Native American voices and educate ourselves on the history and culture that has long been forgotten.
Honoring Native American Voices in Media
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, take the time to learn about Native American history, culture, traditions, and individual experiences. At Brookens Library, you can take out a variety of books that focus on the perspective of Native American writers and main protagonists. You can also check out some of these books through the eBook service provided by the library – cloudLibrary.
Books to Check Out:
- Native American Writers by Harold Bloom
- The Round House by Louise Erdrich
- There There by Tommy Orange
- Roofwalker by Susan Power
- The Woman Who Watches Over the World: A Native Memoir by Linda Hogan
- Tracks by Louise Erdrich
- Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
- Shell Shaker by Leanne Howe
- Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
- IRL by Tommy Pico
- Preserving Native American History by National Endowment for the Humanities