The lack of representation and information about Native peoples has perpetuated damaging myths and stereotypes. Native peoples rank at or near the bottom of most socio-economic indicators such as educational attainment, domestic violence, and poverty, and are often portrayed in popular entertainment, the news media, educational curricula and other influential sources as “noble savages” of time past. Research shows that a more powerful, more accurate, and more inspiring narrative about the contemporary Native experience – one of innovation, creativity, resilience and community – is being overlooked and obscured by a negative one. The Indigenous Peoples’ Initiative was established to tell a more positive and more accurate tale of Native Americans by replacing Columbus Day with Indigneous Peoples’ Day.
This bill will provide opportunities not only to increase substantially accurate and positive representations of Native peoples, but also to impact policy positively and end the continued discrimination and disparities faced by Native communities.