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Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

The Episcopal Committee on Indian Relations is celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, along with many other communities. The holiday aims to draw awareness to the rich and vibrant history of the first peoples who were here when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Indigenous Peoples’ Day also seeks to educate people about the tragedy of oppression and genocide that resulted from the white settlement of North America. Camille Beale, a member of the Episcopal Committee on Indian Relations hopes “celebrating a holiday renamed Indigenous Peoples’ Day will contribute to a wider knowledge of our shared history, for our children, our grandchildren, and for all of us.” Beale and others are working to encourage more places to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day in lieu of Columbus Day. Penobscot Nation Tribal Councilor Maulian Dana Smith said, “I am proud of the work we have done to transform this once painful and traumatic holiday into a day of respect and healing.”

Bangor, Maine, recently adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In the words of the Bangor Daily News, “Success manifests in many ways, including our holidays. Examining the choices we make to set aside special days commemorating people and events reveal who and what we value. Martin Luther King Jr. Day…is one example of a holiday that represents progress toward achieving America’s vision of ‘justice for all.'”

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