Indigenous Peoples’ Day has been so designated by 17 states, and several cities, but not all. The federal government needs to officially designate this. President Biden did issue an official Presidential Proclamation in 2021, but Congress needs to up the recognition. My home state (and where I still reside) has officially recognized today as such for several years. Yay for Minnesota.
Did your family arrive in the United States or what was to become the United States in 1650, 1750, 1850, 1950 or even in the last year? We need to honor the original inhabitants of this land. Native Americans likely resided on the land where homes, apartment buildings, grocery stores, post offices, historical societies, resorts, and even that pharmacy where you get your life-saving medications. Yes, Native Americans gave up much land in exchange for promises made by the government via Treaties. No, not all Treaties have been faithfully fulfilled.
We each should be aware of the original history of the place we live and those of our ancestral families. If you have Native American heritage, you are likely aware of all the awful issues your ancestors suffered through. Ignorance is not an excuse anyone should make. Unfortunately, not all our education has informed us equally and some very little. We all need to learn more about the land on which we reside.
I have been privileged to be involved with Native American research in Minnesota and several other states for 30+ years for many Tribes and individuals. Today I am working on the PowerPoint presentation for a 2.5-hour session on Native Americans of the Northern Plains that I will be presenting for the first time at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy’s January Virtual Course 8 “Researching Along the Northern Plains.” I have already turned in my 22-page syllabus section and now have more to add. https://slig.ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=648
It’s a great day to do some online searching for Indigenous Peoples’ Day and learn a lot in a short time. Do you know what Tribes are the original inhabitants of the area where you live today? Do you know the history and specifically about forced removals to another part of your state or even to several states away? Do you know how many young Native American children were taken away from their parents and forced to an Indian boarding school?
© 2023, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.