Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Celebrate Berkeley’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day, “A Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People” on Saturday, October 9th, 2021, in whatever way seems appropriate in light of the following reports:   “In July 1990, at the First Continental Conference on 500 Years of Indian Resistance in Quito, Ecuador, representatives of indigenous people throughout the Americas agreed that they would mark 1992, the 500th anniversary of the first of the voyages of Christopher Columbus, as a year to promote “continental unity” and “liberation”.8

After the conference, attendees from Northern California organized protests against the “Quincentennial Jubilee” that had been organized by the United States Congress for the San Francisco Bay Area on Columbus Day in 1992. It was to include replicas of Columbus’s ships sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and reenacting their “discovery” of America. The delegates formed the Bay Area Indian Alliance and in turn, the “Resistance 500” task force.9 It promoted the idea that Columbus’s “discovery” of inhabited lands and the subsequent European colonization of them had resulted in the genocide of indigenous peoples because of the decisions which were made by colonial and national governments.10  11

In 1992, the group convinced the city council of Berkeley, California, to declare October 12 as a “Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People” and 1992 as the “Year of Indigenous People.” The city implemented related programs in schools, libraries, and museums. The city symbolically renamed Columbus Day as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” beginning in 1992 to protest the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures through diseases, warfare, massacres, and forced assimilation. 12 13

Source: Wikipedia, the Free encyclopedia, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,”   (30 September 2021)

In 1992, “Berkeley Resistance 500 reported… (those) historical facts to the city council, and that Native peoples around the world had proposed replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. The task force recommended that Columbus should no longer be honored, but the city should instead commemorate the contributions of Native people and their resistance to the European invasion. With strong support from the community, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously that beginning in 1991, October 12th was henceforth to be Indigenous Peoples Day, to be commemorated annually on the nearest Saturday.”

Source: Cramblit, Andre (1 September 2014) “Berkeley’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day, THE HISTORY OF BERKELEY’S INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY,”   (30 September 2021) Native News Network, News of interest to Native Americans, Hawaiian Natives & Alaskan Natives.

8  Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, “Declaration of Quito, Ecuador.” Indigenous Alliance of the Americas on 500 Years of Resistance. July 1990.

9  ibid. Katlyn Carter (January 10, 2005). “Berkeley Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” Daily Californian.

10  ibid. “‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ to Replace Columbus Celebration.” Los Angeles Times. January 11, 1992.

11  ibid. Michael S. Arnold (October 12, 1992). “Protesters Stop Mock Landing of Columbus.” Los Angeles Times.

12  ibid. Roger Petterson (October 13, 1992). “Columbus Day Stirs Debate Across America.” Associated Press.

13  ibid. “In Berkeley, Day for Columbus Is Renamed.” New York Times. The Associated Press. January 12, 1992. Retrieved February 19, 2020.

 (Compiled by Wyndy J. Knox Carr for this site, 30 September 2021)

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