Hail Indigenous Peoples Day – Support Workers World

Boston’s proclamation two years ago that the second Monday of October every year would be Indigenous Peoples Day “in lieu of” Columbus Day was a victory for Native peoples, since the U.S. settler-colonial project, which resulted in genocide and the theft and devastation of their lands and cultures, began and continued in what is now the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Philadelphia Indigenous Peoples Day, October 7, 2021. WW Photo: Joe Piette

Then, on Oct. 8, 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed a federal Indigenous Peoples Day and acknowledged the atrocities “European explorers inflicted on Tribal nations and Indigenous communities.” These pronouncements came about due to the strong, unified struggles by Indigenous peoples and their allies, notably at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the courageous, militant fight that shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, and more.

The movement for recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day began in the 1970s. A delegation of Native nations to the U.N.-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, held in Geneva in 1977, first proposed replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day; their resolution passed. 

Then, in July 1990, representatives from 120 Indigenous nations from throughout the Americas met in Quito, Ecuador, at the First Continental Conference on “500 Years of Indian Resistance.” They unanimously passed a resolution to transform Columbus Day in 1992 “into an occasion to strengthen our process of continental unity and struggle towards our liberation.” (Telesur, Oct. 11, 2015)

In 1992, Berkeley, California, became the first U.S. city to adopt Indigenous Peoples Day. Since then, more than 14 states, Washington, D.C., and over 130 cities have dumped the Columbus Day holiday honoring the genocidal conqueror and recognized Indigenous peoples, their knowledge and cultures on that day.

Workers World has continually supported the righteous struggles of Native peoples on the streets and in our newspaper. WW joins Indigenous communities to demand: Sink Columbus Day! Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in every city, town and state! Down with white supremacy!

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