For the first time ever, the state of Oregon is recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day and Clackamas County will be hosting a virtual webinar in celebration of Indigenous history and culture.
The virtual webinar will take place Tuesday, Oct. 12, hosted by the county and Clackamas Community College in collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and local Indigenous community members.
Attendees will be treated to a celebration of Indigenous history and culture, including drumming, dancing, voices from Indigenous community members, a land acknowledgement and more.
While Indigenous American history spans thousands of years, Indigenous Peoples' Day was first proposed in 1977 by members of the Haudenosaqunee (Iroquois) nation during a United Nations conference as a way to recognize and celebrate Indigenous history separately from acknowledgement of Columbus Day, which for Indigenous communities serves as a reminder of over 500 years of colonial subjugation enacted upon their people by European settlers.
South Dakota in 1990 became the first state to celebrate Native Americans' Day instead of Columbus Day and has since been joined by 16 states including Oregon, which passed legislation in April designating the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
The bill recognizes the inaccurately cited historical contributions of Christopher Columbus, whose actions "opened the door to heinous crimes against humanity" including transatlantic slavery and genocide.
While Oct. 11 is the second Monday of the month and thus is the official day Indigenous Peoples' Day will be recognized statewide, community members are encouraged to attend Clackamas County's virtual celebration the following day, Oct. 12.
The link to the Zoom webinar is available here.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.