Oct. 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

By Robert Boos
Posted October 4, 2017

Oct. 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Metropolitan State University and the state of Minnesota annually designates the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in place of the federally recognized Columbus Day, and further recognizes that Metropolitan State’s Dayton’s Bluff campus is situated on formerly Dakota land and adjacent to sacred burial mounds on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the unique cultures and challenges of indigenous peoples worldwide. These challenges include human rights, developmental, educational, environmental, and medical/health issues faced by members of native cultures.

Read 11 nations and flags of Minnesota Native Americans

Attend a celebration and recognition of the significant contributions of Native Americans to the United States during Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, Oct. 9. Events will take place outside the commons near the Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus. In case of weather interruptions, presentations will be moved to inside the Great Hall.

Planned events include:

10 am to 6 pm – Native American tipi demonstration and display;(this display will be weather dependent).

3 pm – Smudging and blessing by Ernie Whiteman, a spiritual elder and cultural teacher from the Arapaho Nation. He works at Dream of Wild Health in Hugo, Minn.

3:10 pm – Welcome by President Ginny Arthur

3:15 pm – Ernie Whiteman will give an overview about American Indian spirituality and the use of tobacco and other sacred medicines, along with his thoughts on the importance of Indigenous Peoples Day’s work with youth and food sovereignty.

4 pm – Intermission with a light meal

4:15 pm – Maria McCoy and Nelda Goodman – Healing Through Time: Aanikobijigan (the String of Lives).  Ancestral wisdom, knowledge and resiliency is encoded in our DNA and is passed down through the luminous string of lives. Our DNA memory wakes up and can change when we begin our healing journey

5:15 pm – Asiginok Women’s Drum Group

5:45 pm – Closing comments by Tom Cook, special assistant to the President.

The observance is sponsored by the university American Indian Advisory Committee, American Indian Student Services, Dean of Students and Equity and Inclusion Council. For more information, contact Mai Her, mai.her@metrostate.edu.