Updated: Jan 2, 2019
When you know better, do better. So ya'll, it's time for collective 'do better'. Instead of celebrating an invasion, let's use this day to recognize those who were here long before Columbus in 1492.
And shed light on why the holiday - Indigenous Peoples' Day - is needed in the first place. Systemic racism and untrue teachings have long erased the narratives of indigenous people from American history, and contributes to the large disparities Native Americans face today.
But instead of just saying “f*ck Columbus” - let’s actually use our energy to make a difference, educate ourselves on what happened, and act as allies. And being an ally means showing support through action - not just talking. So letz do it, ya'll!
Ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
1- Learn History and Accomplishments of Indigenous People: Research and inform yourself of the actual story, not what many of us learned in school growing up. Learn about the many accomplishments of indigenous people and the rich history.
2- Culturally Appreciate, Not Appropriate: Cultural appreciation is all about respecting different cultures, understanding the role you play in oppressing or erasing said culture, and not trivializing sacred cultural traditions by simply adopting them.
3- Donate to Indigenous People's Rights Organizations: Consider donating to the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, a group made up of five nations (and supported by 30 Native American Tribes!) who are in a battle to preserve Bear Ears National Monument. Or, donate to Stand With Standing Rock, the group formed of Native activists, different tribes, and allies who halted the Dakota Access Pipeline — and are still fighting against it.
4- Support Native American Businesses: Put your money where your mouth is. Support business, purchase the art.
5- Be an Ally: Today and always. Use your knowledge to build bridges, not walls, with those who aren’t aware of the actual history, and unaware of the struggles still experienced by native people. Stay informed, donate, support, attend vigils and ceremonies, appreciate and respect - but don’t steal.