WHY INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DAY?
The story of Indigenous Peoples is often a forgotten or ignored piece of history. The lack of representation and information about Native Peoples perpetuates damaging myths and stereotypes. The Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative was established to challenge the negative narratives concerning Indigenous Peoples as ‘noble savages’ which have been perpetuated by popular entertainment, the news media, educational curricula, and other influential sources. Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day will help promote pride in Native Americans’ contributions to Arizona, the nation, and our global community.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative believes establishing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in lieu of Columbus Day will promote a more positive and truthful narrative concerning Indigenous Peoples. Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day acknowledges an often forgotten or ignored piece of our history, a past marked by too many broken promises, violence, and deprivation. It is a story that must be recognized as we seek to build a brighter future…side by side, with cooperation and mutual respect for one another.
The goal of our organization is not to discredit the success of one community, but to present a more truthful and more positive narrative concerning Indigenous Peoples. By understanding the story of Indigenous Peoples, we better understand ourselves, others, and our history. Understanding the original and fundamentally beautiful story of Native Americans binds us together and reaffirms our American identity by recognizing the atrocities of the past and the healing of the present and future.
When Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated, it validates the ideas of this nation's founding as a country born of change, a country born of revolution, and a country of “We the People.” This country is great, but it can be better. Recognizing our potential is how we reconcile with the past and enter the future with a stronger sense of American Identity.
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"America is a constant work in progress, and loving this country requires us as citizens to speak up for what is right. It is my hope that we can put our differences aside and work together with cooperation and mutual respect for one another to make this nation one that truly aligns with democratic principles. Let us shape and embrace our nation as one people, all united under the same stars and stripes and work to create a stronger and more perfect union."