Indigenous People’s Day
Letter to the Editor | Monday, October 14, 2019
We, the Native American Student Association of Notre Dame, would like to extend an invitation to the University and its students to join us in celebration of the Indigenous people of America by declaring Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 “Indigenous People’s Day” on the campus of Notre Dame.
While we are definitely happy with the University’s decision on the Columbus Murals, we feel the declaration would serve as another step in the right direction in improving the school’s relationship with its indigenous students. We ask the University to honor its self-proclaimed commitment to “Respect the dignity of every person”, “Build a Notre Dame community in which all flourish,” and “Live in solidarity with all, particularly the most vulnerable.” These beliefs would be put into action by showing solidarity with the indigenous people attending Notre Dame.
By recognizing Indigenous People’s Day, Notre Dame would join a growing list of states, cities, and universities across the country in honoring the people who were on this land first. Similarly prestigious institutions like Brown University, Cornell University, Syracuse University and Stanford University have already honored marginalized peoples by declaring the second Monday of October Indigenous People’s Day. States like Minnesota, Vermont and South Dakota have also adopted some form of the holiday. Across 24 other states, cities have celebrated Indigenous People’s Day.
We ask that the University act in accordance with its beliefs of fostering a welcoming environment, respecting the dignity of every person, and living in solidarity with vulnerable members of its student body, all beliefs rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. A statement by itself means nothing, it requires action. By declaring Monday, October 14th, 2019, Indigenous People’s Day, Notre Dame would be putting those words into action.
Regardless of the University’s decision, NASAND will be celebrating Indigenous People’s Day and we invite the entire Notre Dame family to join us in celebration.
Native American Student Association of Notre Dame
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.