Why We Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Yesterday, Monday, October 10, was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day many Indigenous People have advocated to replace Columbus Day.  Indigenous People’s Day celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. If we are to achieve environmental justice, it is imperative that we begin by acknowledging that the very land where we reside was taken from Indigenous peoples. When we start there, we also understand the historic reality that the way we have treated people, land, and resources has breached our commitment to justice. As people of faith, our work is to repair that breach and encourage care for the land, and the environment, and honor the original caretakers. 

For Indigenous peoples, the connection to traditional homelands is at the heart of identity, and environmental justice is highly important to these communities. Therefore, to honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we encourage you all to learn about the land you reside on, research environmental justice movements in Indigenous communities near you and take a moment to connect with and care for our shared home on this planet.

Check out this week’s Environmental Justice Now! to learn more about the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Friday, October 15th, at 12 PM.