Friends and Relatives,
Leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, October 11, we will be sharing thoughts from our member organizations on the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, their successes and hopes, and ways you can support their work. We hope you will join us in celebrating and supporting the work of Native-led nonprofits this Indigenous Peoples’ Day and beyond.
What does Indigenous Peoples Day mean to you?
American Indian College Fund: The American Indian College Fund believes that visibility of Indigenous Peoples throughout society builds a better America. Indigenous Peoples Day gives us all the opportunity to celebrate Native Peoples, cultures, histories, and achievements.
Association on American Indian Affairs: Indigenous Day is meant to raise awareness to protect the indigenous communities’ social, economic, and political rights. EVERY DAY IS INDIGENOUS DAY at the Association. Our staff is passionate and driven to see effective change on Turtle Island, from policies to social practices, creating a world where diverse Native American cultures and values are lived, protected, and respected. Living Indigenous Day, every day, is how we choose to walk through the world.
First Nations Development Institute: First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) celebrates Indigenous peoples daily, sharing robust narratives of Native values, ideas, contributions, relationships, and issues. It is vital for First Nations to revitalize stories that give light to tribal communities and reinforce Indigenous ways of knowing and the knowledge that existed before contact.
We love being Indigenous every day. Being Indigenous means that our ancestors survived policies, genocide, broken treaties, and discrimination. It means that we get to stand here today and show the world we are still here and remind people that the policies that meant to destroy us only made us stronger.
National Indian Child Welfare Association: Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to reflect on our collective history, to observe our cultures and realities today, and to look toward the future we want to create for our children. It is a chance to tell the truth about how governments, churches, and educational institutions treated our ancestors and the impact of those policies and practices on millions of Native people alive today. Only by acknowledging the painful truth of our history can we create the opportunity for healing—and eventually thriving—of all people.
What do you want people to know about your organization, its hopes, and its successes this Indigenous Peoples Day?
Association on American Indian Affairs: This Indigenous Day is extra special to the Association, as it is a celebration of 99 years of Indigenous Days. As advocates for Indigenous rights on Turtle Island since 1922, the Association has been a constant part of the drumbeat of Indian Country. The Association’s impact on Native Nations is far-reaching. Our work at the national level has a ripple effect that impacts the day-to-day lives of Natives nationwide. We want people to know that we are here as a resource and ally for Native Nations and their communities. The Association is proud to be the oldest non-profit serving Indian Country to protect sovereignty, preserve culture, educate youth, and build capacity. We are excited to build upon and expand our partnerships to serve the needs of Indian Country in the next 100 years.
First Nations Development Institute: First Nations is helping create stories of success and resiliency. We provide financial support, technical assistance and training, and advocacy to Indigenous communities to ensure their communities thrive and succeed. Our hopes are to continue to champion the movement to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and help eliminate the celebration of genocide, trauma, and colonization, and replace it with the celebration of Indigenous ways of life, resiliency, ingenuity, tradition, and culture.
We must dispel the perpetuation of the myth of Columbus discovering the Americas, and teach a new narrative about the truth and about the people who lived and thrived on the land. There is an urgency to erase stereotypes and create new narratives. We have to generate understanding around Native issues and ensure history books acknowledge and create visibility around the many peoples who have been here since time immemorial.
Without creating these new narratives, we continue the perpetuation of Violence Against Native Women, we continue the epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, we preserve the policies that openly discriminated against and tried to wipe out Indigenous peoples, and we make space for people to tell stories that are not representative of the true beauty of Native peoples.
Native American Rights Fund: The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is honored to have served more than 275 Native nations during the past 51 years. NARF’s legal representation and advocacy on behalf of Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals has changed the history of Native Americans and the United States. These gains would not have been possible without NARF’s great staff, wise board leadership, courageous Native American clients, and generous donors, which all built on the strength of those who came before us.
This Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the tireless efforts and progress made by Native American people. However, it is very clear that the fight is not over, and we must prepare for the legal challenges ahead for our people.
How can people support your organization and its work?
American Indian College Fund: The American Indian College Fund invites all to join our IndigiBration celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day. Please join us for this free, online event. You can sign up for your free ticket at: https://collegefund.org/events/indigebration/
Learn more and make donations to the College Fund at https://collegefund.org/
American Indian Science and Engineering Society: Learn more and make donations at https://www.aises.org/
Association on American Indian Affairs: Get involved! We welcome allies from all places who are passionate about Indigenous rights. Educate yourselves and be better allies. Sponsor or donate to an AAIA program. Volunteer, we need everyone to do their part. Start by following us on Social Media and sharing our posts. We want our education to reach all corners of this land; your network can help. Join our organization as a member; this way, you can be a part of the movement and be up to date on our fight for Indigenous rights.
Learn more, connect, and make donations to AAIA at https://www.indian-affairs.org/
First Nations Development Institute: Become a supporter and ally of First Nations by signing up for our weekly and quarterly emails at www.firstnations.org. People can also become financial supporters through our website at https://www.firstnations.org/ways-to-give/.
Native American Rights Fund: Donate today and be a part of the continuing fight for Native American rights. Make this Indigenous Peoples Day not only about celebrating our past and present, but also about protecting our future.
National Indian Child Welfare Association: Learn more and make donations to NICWA at https://www.nicwa.org/
Running Strong for American Indian Youth: Learn more and make donations to Running Strong at https://indianyouth.org/