Earlier today I posted this picture on Facebook.:
I posted it last year as well because it made me chuckle as it’s filled with obvious sarcasm at the irony of so many people complaining about immigrants and then celebrating Columbus Day as if it’s the true story of American History and pride.
It’s not a new concept and I remember having this conversation when I was my son’s age and learned that Columbus never actually came to “America” and that it would be several generations before we even began settling on actual American land. However people STILL insist on glorifying a made up concept of the founding of our nation on this day.
But as people started hitting the like button, I couldn’t help but wonder if everyone who read it would see it’s sarcastic intent. I would love to believe that because who would read that literally and ‘like’ it? However, if there’s something that I have come to realize these last several years, it’s that I can no longer assume that people aren’t just simply awful.
THANKFULLY, people are starting to actually get the concept of not celebrating the destruction of one civilization for the benefit of another and we are finally able to celebrate the people we should have been all along…the original settlers…Indigenous People of America (and Canada).
So, I decided to make it clear to anyone who clearly doesn’t know me well, that I do not actually support anti-immigration or pro Columbus Day rhetoric. Therefore, in honor of all the people who have allowed me to learn from them and enjoy their history, art and stories…I’d love to share some of MY favorite ways to celebrate IPD today. FYI This article (8 thoughtful ways to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day) from USA Today has some great suggestions and I would have just shared this to my Facebook page but I felt like I needed to add my two cents as well as shamelessly plug my favorite tiktok content creators. 😉
Here are my additions to the above article’s suggestions:
- Stream some indigenous artist’s music – Our favorites to watch on youtube are Inuit throat singers. These are easy to google but my favorite to enjoy are Kayluula and Shina Nova who can be found on a variety of platforms (TT: @kayuulanova and @shinanova) and their music purchased here The Nova’s Shopify
- Purchase art and home décor – One of my favorite artists to creep on is MReed Designs Purse Co. Facebook algorithm sent me this beautiful woman’s art when I was looking for a doll for Lorelei and she has introduced me to so many other artists and stories. Watching her create and seeing her dance is a joy. You can see her art here: MReed Designs Facebook Page and her TT: @mreeddesigns
- Read books by Indigenous authors – This is tricky for me because I am not currently a huge reader (solely on my having 400 babies) so here are a few of our favorite kids books: Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse, A Day with Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell, The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie De Paola, and Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie.
- Participate in online events etc… – Again, this is not my forte since I rarely get to look into or enjoy long periods of online knowledge. BUT I would love to promote some of my favorite tiktokers who enjoy sharing their culture, answering questions and of course…making some people super uncomfortable. (Of course there’s those I’ve already shared) But also: Christina Haswood (KS Rep.), @brettstoise (Loves to make you chuckle), @jamescohen09 (beautiful to watch), and of course Lance Tsosie (who just…rocks)
- Bake some Indigenous eats – Again… not my forte but Hungry Johnny by Cheryl Kay Minnema will make your mouth water and I believe it comes with recipes to try at home. Also…Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard.
- Plant some heirloom seeds – HA I sense a theme here. I know nothing about plants or crops besides pine trees so I’ll just say that this website is my go to for trying to preserve Missouri land to it’s natural beauty.
- Donate to Indigenous activists and groups – Now this I’ve got…and have to narrow down to the two that mean the most to me.
- When I was little I chose to do a report on the Sioux Nation and it had a huge impact on me. So, when we joined our church, I was excited to learn that one of the men’s groups annually traveled to the Pine Ridge Reservation to help the Lakota men serve their community and to fellowship and offer support. If you would like to help support that mission or learn more about it you can find info on Faith’s page. You can also help support the Lakota at Pine Ridge through the Friends of Pine Ridge website.
- Another huge issue that is so close to my heart as a woman and a murderino is the disparities and injustice done in this country STILL to Indigenous women. We watched recently the media obsess over a missing girl and while her story IS tragic…it dominates because of the value we put on her because of her race and social standing. I am not shaming anyone for paying attention to her story but to spend so much time, effort, resources, and money to search for the one girl while there are over 500 unsolved missing and murdered indigenous women is very telling. Here are some great places to start if you want to support this community and their efforts to bring attention and justice for these women. Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, Native Women’s Wilderness, Lakota People’s Law Project MMIW Resource Guide, and of course… Billy Jensen and Paul Hole’s Podcast (season one but still a good listen).
- Support Indigenous Designers – I mean there’s so much but here’s a great Huffington Post with something to start you with… 23 Indigenous Fashion Brands