We are on the ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples. In 2014, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted to honor and commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, named on the second Monday in October to honor Native American cultures and traditions and to celebrate diverse histories, cultures, and traditions of Indigenous communities that historically have been marginalized, silenced, or erased.
We continue to teach and learn about the true history and celebrate the vast diversity within local and national Native American communities. We invite you to take action by starting locally—shop at local Indigenous-owned businesses or visit the Native Land website (also available as an app on Apple and Google platforms) to learn more about local Indigenous territories, languages, and treaties. In the classroom, we invite teachers to share stories of resistance and the continued fight for the rights of Indigenous peoples. Throughout the year we all can continue our own learning.
Here are some curated resources to start (or continue) that journey. Please feel free to share other resources you come across.
- 9 Ways Kids Can Observe Indigenous People’s Day
- Goodbye, Columbus? A NPR news article about what Indigenous People’s Day means to Native Americans.
- All My Relations, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), this podcast “explores indigeneity in all its complexity.” Episodes focus on issues such as DNA identity, appropriation, feminism, food sovereignty, gender, sexuality, and more while “keeping it real, playing games, laughing a lot, and even crying sometimes.”
- Breakdances with Wolves Podcast, hosted by Gyasi Ross, Wesley (“Snipes Type”) Roach, and Minty LongEarth, “a few Natives with opinions and a platform.” Episodes report on current events through an indigenous perspective.
- Opinion | A Conversation With Native Americans on Race. Native Americans challenge their invisibility in society.
- Columbus in America explores the history of what transpired in 1492 and after, and how “Columbus” has been used throughout U.S. history to legitimate the marginalization of Indigenous peoples.
- Seattle Chooses Indigenous Peoples’ Day
- The Word Indigenous Explained (a quick and accessible video). Even though it is based in Canada, this video is a great way to unpack the appropriate way to address indigenous people, and to not use words such as Aboriginals, Native, or Indians.
- Indigenous People’s Day
- Indigenous Identity (TED Talk for upper grades)
- What Does it Mean to Be Indigenous? (a short video)
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (she, her, hers)
Featured image: SWS grade 10 students read Chief Sealth’s speech at his gravesite, which they visited on their class trip.