By Myara Gomez
On Oct. 11, the Inclusive Excellence Team at the College sent out an email about Indigenous Peoples Day and how the College intends to observe it. Indigenous Peoples Day was on Oct. 11.
According to history.com, several states have celebrated the holiday since 1991.
“Acknowledging the legacy and contributions of Indigenous people is an important first step towards becoming an antiracist and socially just college. However, we must continue to take bold and courageous action in promoting equity and inclusion for Indigenous communities at TCNJ. We must actively work towards truth and reconciliation in acknowledging that we stand on sacred land. Such action will require us to examine the ways we teach about Indigenous cultures, as well as how well we engage, and provide access to Indigenous communities,” said the email.
This email included 11 links about Indigenous people and their history. The Inclusive Excellence Team provided links to information on the Trail of Tears, the Carlisle Indian School Project, the Ramapough Lenape Nation and land acknowledgment. Although this email was very informative, some students feel that this could have been done differently.
“You acknowledge that you are on sacred land, like okay what are you going to do about that? Can we have a coalition or events or a fundraiser or something that we can give to Indigenous communities that are obviously suffering?” questioned freshman political science major Adam Rodriguez Hernandez.
It is unknown if the College plans to hold events for Indigenous Peoples Day in the future.
Indigenous people have suffered many injustices over the course of the past several hundred years, an example of this being the Trail of Tears. According to history.com, at least 3,000 Native Americans died after being forced off of their land by the federal government and forced to walk hundreds of miles.
“I think it’s really silly that Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated on the same day as Columbus Day because it just feels like we are putting a bandaid over a wound that is never going to heal,” junior psychology major Brooke Tindall said.
Although the College does not observe Indigenous Peoples Day as Columbus Day, many states in the US still do.
The College does acknowledge that it is on sacred land and observes Indigenous Peoples Day.
If one would like more information about this holiday and how the College is observing it, they may contact the College’s Division of Inclusive Excellence at firstname.lastname@example.org.