Actions to take on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

(And all week as well…)

  • Action #1: Make it official – remove Columbus Day from the books.
  • Action #2 Sign a proclamation of opposition to LIne 3
  • Action #3: Write to Jamie Pinkham of the Army Corp of Engineers
  • Action #4: Write to Joe.

Read Biden’s proclamation on Indigenous People’s Day, 2021, here, the first ever issued by an American president. Then, read why a lynching in 1891 of eleven Italians immigrants in New Orleans led to a holiday for a problematic man who never set foot in America. Another story we didn’t learn in school…

Action #1: Make it official – remove Columbus Day from the books.

HR 5473/S.2919 designates Indigenous People’s Day as a legal public holiday the second Monday in October and replaces any wording related to Columbus Day with “Indigenous People’s Day.”

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to support and approve (Rep. – HR 5473/Sen. – S.2919) – Indigenous Peoples’ Day Act.
(Or thank the legislators who’ve already cosponsored these bills. Everyone likes being thanked!)

  • H.R. 5473 cosponsors here. Brownley hasn’t signed on yet, Carbajal has.
  • S.2919 cosponsors here. Feinstein hasn’t signed on yet, Padilla has.

Contact:

  • Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
  • or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Action #2 Sign a proclamation of opposition to LIne 3

Sign here: https://www.stopline3.org/take-action

Action #3: Write to Jamie Pinkham of the Army Corp of Engineers

The Stop Line 3 folks have another action on the same site – sending a letter to the head of the Army Corp of Engineers, asking them to call for a full federal environmental impact statement to asses threats to treat rights, water protection and climate. There’s a customizable script you can use to make it easy. https://www.stopline3.org/take-action

Action #4: Write to Joe.

(This is borrowed in part from People vs. Fossil Fuels)

Contact for President Biden here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear Joe,

Thank you for being the first president to make an official proclamation honoring Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Today, we ask you to do more…to act for the Indigenous, Brown, Black, and low-income communities whose lives have been impacted from living on the frontlines of our climate emergency, those forced to live within the pall and destruction of fracking sites, oil wells, pipelines and refineries, plastic plants and more. Over the years these communities have written thousands of messages to politicians, attended countless hearings, testified hundreds of times, and have placed their bodies on the line when needed, all the while our government continued to ignore the science and Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and steers us toward climate catastrophe. 

We have everything to lose and no time to wait. In every day of drought, in every 500-year flood, in every once-in-a lifetime hurricane, in every burned-out neighborhood, in every child struggling to breathe, we see a future, one of food shortages, displacement, pandemics and more. For all of us.

President Biden, you promised to address the climate emergency and a history of environmental injustice, but so far, your administration continues to allow the fossil fuel industry to poison our communities. You could stop dangerous fossil fuel projects like the Line 3 pipeline and Formosa Plastics plant with a stroke of your pen, but your inaction is continuing widespread environmental injustice and the violation of Indigenous rights and rights of nature.

We voted for your “Justice 40” initiative; we voted for a leader to help stop the destruction of fenceline communities, homelands and neighborhoods by the fossil fuel industry, and to demand equity, restorative justice actions for the same.

We didn’t vote for a place-holder for the future. We voted for a transformative leader now.

Resources

  • (Wikipedia) Columbus Day
  • (History) Why Columbus Day Courts Controversy – The history taught in elementary schools often glorifies the European explorer and skips out on his brutal treatment toward the Natives who occupied the land before him. Relearning this history is essential to supporting Native Americans and recognizing why Columbus Day is so hurtful.
  • (pueblo chieftain) Was Columbus really that bad? No, he was worse 
  • (NYTimes) How Italians became white.
  • (VOX) 9 reasons Christopher Columbus was a murderer, tyrant, and scoundrel
  • (medium) The Lynching That Gave Us Columbus Day – A lynching of eleven Italians and Italian-Americans in New Orleans in 1891, led to an international incident and a presidential apology in the form of a proclamation honoring Columbus Day as a one-time celebration of 400 years since the Italian explorer landed in what is now the Bahamas.
  • (Wapo) The first Columbus Day was born of violence — and political calculation. Columbus Day became a permanent national holiday in 1934 when Congress, after lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, authorized President Franklin D. Roosevelt to declare Oct. 12 as the designated date. In 1971, Columbus Day was made a federal holiday on the second Monday in October.
  • Native Land map

Support Native-owned businesses

  • (Beyond Buckskin) a list that includes dozens of shops that sell clothing, decor, food, and more.
  • The Indian Pueblo Store is another great place to search for original, handcrafted artwork from talented Native American artists.

Read books by Indigenous writers.

  • First Nations Development Institute put together a list of essential reading for anyone interested in the Native American experience,
  • (BuzzFeed) 14 Contemporary Books By Native American Writers To Get Excited About 

Donate toward a cause you care about.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s