Indigenous People’s Day proclamation to be signed

The Native American Longhouse will be hosting the signing of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation for the second year in a row. 

History is being made at Oregon State University with the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation, striving to correct the injustice of ignorance celebrated in American culture by replacing the traditional Christopher Columbus Day. The proclamation will be on Monday, Oct. 10 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Native American Longhouse.

The event will immerse people in the Native American culture. There will be singing, dancing and speakers discussing cultural topics and the Indigenous Peoples’ Day movement. The mayor of Corvallis will also be in attendance to speak about the proclamation and sign it for the second year in a row.

Historically, Christopher Columbus Day had been celebrated around the world as the anniversary when America was discovered, but the true history behind this romanticized holiday marginalized certain communities, according to William Miller, a senior studying political science.

“I want to give justice to a community that has been historically wronged. That is the main driver of this,” Miller said. “These people need to be recognized for what happened, and not a man [Christopher Columbus] who has committed heinous crimes.”

Often tradition has prevented people from coming to reality with America’s past. Yet, various  progressive movements and legislation have tried to remedy the outlook on history, and those that were devastated in its making. For the second year in a row, the signing of the proclamation for Indigenous People’s Day will be working to bring it to local communities and the nation at large, according to Miller.

“It became apparent to me with the work that I was doing that it is not about me, but about the communities that have historically been wronged,” Miller said. “It was important that I worked on this effort because you can’t correct the injustices that have been done, but you can take a stance against it and acknowledge the first people in the Americas.”

Miller became involved with this movement a year a ago working at the Native American Longhouse as a leadership liaison. After hearing about the proclamation in Washington for the Indigenous People’s Day, he was inspired to bring it to Oregon.  Miller contacted the King’s Legacy Advisory Board and together they drafted the first proclamation, which was approved by the mayor.  

Miller is not the only one working towards localizing Indigenous People’s Day. Darren Nguyen, the executive communities program director at Associated Students of Oregon State University, believes the proclamation is making a mark at the community level.

“We are moving toward a more progressive Oregon State campus in regards to social justice, and also recognizing the cultures here that the city of Corvallis has,” Nguyen said.

All identities are encouraged to come and participate in this rare experience and take part of a historical shift, according to a press release written by Rachel Grisham, ASOSU president.

“These students are still pushing for this day to be adopted across the state and the nation,” Grisham said. “I urge you all to attend this event and learn more about the importance of this historical movement.”