NOW is proud to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday of October. This is a significant occasion to facilitate important conversations around the mistreatment of Indigenous people throughout history, including up until the present. This day should honor the cultures of Indigenous people rather than the colonizer, Christopher Columbus, in a meaningful way in wider recognition of Indigenous history, contributions, and resilience.
According to the National Institute of Justice, more than 83 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native men and women have faced some form of violence in their lifetime, with more than 1.5 million women making up this statistic. Most women experiencing violence are victims of psychological aggression by an intimate partner or sexual violence – 66 percent and 56 percent, respectively. This violence is a generational trend that perpetuates cycles of grief and trauma.
There are many ways we can support Indigenous people on this day and every day, including:
- Host an in-person or online event to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in your community
- Support Native artists and storytellers
- Share social media content pertaining to Indigenous history and culture
- Advocate for legislative change
- Amplify Native voices
We must also recognize the cruel history that Indigenous people have faced – genocide, displacement, oppression, and systemic exclusion. This holiday is a day for paying tribute to the diverse cultures of Indigenous people, for facing our history, and vowing to push for progress every day. We can only move forward using our knowledge of the past.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.