First US President recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is on the same day as Columbus Day
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - This year marks the first time the U.S. President recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day on what is traditionally Columbus Day.
In 2019, Governor Evers declared the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. He says it’s to recognize and appreciate the people who lived in these lands first.
Wisconsin is 1 of the 14 states celebrating the day dedicated to the people who lived in America before settlers came from Europe. There are 11 federally recognized tribal governments in Wisconsin.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is working to help its Native American students and acknowledges the campus was once a burial site of Native Americans.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a counter to Columbus Day,” said Katelyn Herne, interim coordinator for the Native American Center UWSP, “They wanted to find a way to acknowledge the actual people who were here before him because Christopher Columbus did not discover America.”
Herne said there were hundreds, if not thousands, of Native American tribes all across North and South America.
UWSP purchased the land it sits on in 1894, but buyers didn’t know it’s actually on Native American burial grounds. Eventually, the university found that history acknowledged it, and recognized the past. Recently, the school put up a marker as a reminder of the native burial ground on campus.
“We should not be thinking about Native American history as something that is in the past and buried but rather thinking about what we can do, how we can collaborate with our indigenous neighbors,” said Rob Harper, professor of history at UWSP.
UWSP has a land statement that acknowledges the fact that the university occupies Ho-Chunk and Menominee land.
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