Different resources to educate yourself with on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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This Oct. 9, it’s time to get ready to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The best way to spend the day? Educate yourself on indigenous history. Celebrate the holiday by indulging in the educational materials we at the Clog have so generously provided you. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something — like the fact that Berkeley was the first city to rename the holiday Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992!

“My Name Is Not Easy”

This novel by Debby Dahl Edwardson tells the story of three Iñupiaq children who are sent to a Catholic boarding school with white children and Native American children. The Iñupiaq children are discriminated against and forced to sacrifice cultural elements in order to fit in. It’s a good tale that explicates what it feels like to feel “othered” by those infringing on your home.

“The Wonderful Sky Boat: And Other Native American Tales of the Southeast”

This is a collection of Native American folktales from Southeastern tribes, including the Cherokee, Choctaw and Seminole. It’s an excellent gateway into understanding Native American cultural traditions.

“Columbus Day Legacy”

This is an entertaining and educational documentary film exploring tensions between Native Americans and caucasians participating in the Columbus Day parade in Denver. It captures the question of historical interpretation and who or what Americans really are.

“A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the Present”

Author Ward Churchill “explores the history of holocaust and denial in this hemisphere, beginning with the arrival of Columbus and continuing on into the present.” Churchill can provide us with insight on how and why we deny that the removal and extermination of Native Americans from their land was a genocide.

“An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”

From the text, we’re confronted with the jarring reality of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the 19th century. The work attempts (and succeeds) in altering our vision of how America was constructed.

“Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Contemporary Native Women’s Writing of North America”

This work captures the experience of Native American women through their poetry, memoirs and fictional stories. If you’re interested in the lives of Native American women, this one’s for you.

“Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World”

Jack Weatherford explicates the contributions made by Native Americans to our democracy, medicine,  commercial agriculture and architecture. Reading this work can give us a more accurate understanding of American history.

This Indigenous Peoples’ Day, take a break from your studies to learn about Native American traditions and culture. The least we can do on this day is to try to understand their struggle and recognize indigenous peoples’ importance. On that note, we at the Clog hope you have a great Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

Contact Melany Dillon at [email protected].

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