Indigenous Peoples Day in Pittsburgh
On the eve of International Human Rights Day, December 2, 2014, Pittsburgh's City Council of Pittsburgh passed a Will of the Council recognizing the 12th of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day in order to promote tolerance, understanding and friendship, and to overcome prejudice and eliminate discrimination stemming from colonization. The measure indicates Council support for the inclusion of the teaching of Indigenous peoples history as recommended by Indigenous communities in our public schools. This decision encourages truth-telling about our history, an important first step in the process of confronting and acknowledging the genocidal impacts of European colonization on native peoples. It is essential to promoting healing and to realizing a culture of human rights.
The Human Rights City Alliance is establishing a task force to organize activities to enhance public understandings of Indigenous peoples' histories and traditions, and to educate about the realities of colonialism, racism and genocide and their long-term impacts on Indigenous communities and other groups. If you'd like to join the Indigenous Peoples Day task force, contact us at pghrights[at]riseup.net
Indigenous Peoples Day 2017 --What you can do: We encourage everyone to play your part in changing our culture. This year do something to educate yourself and others about Indigenous Peoples Day and its importance to advancing human rights. Have a conversation with someone about Indigenous Peoples Day and about Pittsburgh's recognition of it.
Indigenous Peoples Day 2020
- Recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day: Historical Truth-Telling, Reconciliation, and Trauma Healing (October 11-October 21)
- We encourage you to make time during this period when we challenge conventional tellings of our history that valorize violence, genocide, and displacement of the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors lived in the places we call home. Student human rights leaders have identified the following resources and hope you will review them and share with others!
- Online Events:
- Community Dialogue: Indigenous Peoples Day: Deconstructing white supremacy and celebrating the people’s history: Thursday, October 22, 7:00PM. Traditionally, “Columbus Day” has been celebrated in October as a day of patriotism and freedom, while in reality this narrative celebrates the exploitation, oppression, and genocide of indigenous people in our country. Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to recognize and remember the cultures that have survived, despite overwhelming violence and erasure through western narratives and other aspects of white supremacy. The Human Rights City Alliance is providing a short list of learning resources on this issue to draw attention to Indigenous Peoples Day and its significance, and is holding an online panel discussion to lift up the many issues indigenous people are facing in our country and opportunities for human rights learning in our city. Featured speakers, Miguel Sague, Jr. Member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center & Dr. Michael Murphy, assistant professor of sociology. (Zoom Link) Meeting ID: 990 4736 9509. Facebook event page
Watch, Listen, Read, Learn More!
- Buffy Sainte Marie-My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying Buffy Sainte Marie is a Cree musician whose music has inspired struggles over generations and across nations.
Indigenous Peoples Day 2017
Join area residents to read and discuss The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, an award-winning book by Sherman Alexie, a renowned author who will be visiting Pittsburgh on Monday October 16. Call up your local coffee shop, public library, or invite people to your home to discuss the book. Let us know about your event so we can publicize on our website and facebook page. Contact us at: pghrights [at] riseup [dot] net.
==View or Download Discussion Guide
Book discussion meet-ups
Background on Indigenous Peoples Day: Wikipedia Article on Indigenous Peoples Day
"Walk in Two Worlds: Native American Pittsburgh" by William Severini Kowinski
This is a slightly longer version of an article that appeared in the Pittsburgh City Paper, a free weekly, in the fall of 1992. The 500th year after Columbus turned out to be a good year for raising awareness of Native Americans. It was especially interesting to me that western Pennsylvania had been a crossroads for several Indian peoples, and they had played a large part in the history of the state after white settlement began. For awhile the Pittsburgh area was the frontier, and the kind of conflicts that occurred in the late 19th century in the west happened there some two hundred years earlier.
Indigenous Peoples Day around the Country & World**
- Seattle 2015- Winona LaDuke speaks at City-Wide Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
- 2017 **L.A. City Council replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on city calendar**
From Latin America to Asia: Learning from our roots, A conversation on Vivir Bien. by Focus on the Global South
- "Vivir Bien is a Spanish word that refers to the way of life of indigenous peoples in South America....Many of the underlying principles of 'Vivir Bien' can be found in indigenous cultures all over the world." The concept of buen vivir is seen as a key to helping us find alternatives to our current system, which is in crisis due to its unsustainable exploitation of the Earth and the people who live here.
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt This graphic novel shows parallels between the struggles of native Americans, low-income people and people of color resisting displacement by urban 'development', and those fighting mountaintop removal in coal-mining regions.