MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In most cities around the country, Monday was Columbus Day. But in Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as a few other cities, it was Indigenous People’s Day.
The holiday recognizes the history and contributions of indigenous cultures.
The Minneapolis Park Board has added the Dakota name “Bde Maka Ska” to some of the signs around Lake Calhoun, as way to honor the Dakota people.
This is the second year the city of Minneapolis has recognized Indigenous People’s Day.
At the American Indian Center, dozens of people spent time Monday raising awareness about issues that affect the Native American community.
There was also a red shawl round dance, where dancers wear symbolic shawls as part of a moving, visual display.
The fringe of the shawl is said to represent the tears of Indian women, crying out for the pain and suffering their people have endured.
The red, teal and purple colors on the shawls are a way to show support for other native women who have been victims of sexual assaults and domestic violence.
Organizers say Indigenous People’s Day is a time for native people to bring their stories to the forefront.
Joe Hobot, of the Metropolitan Urban Indian Directors, said issues important to the community are treaty rights and accurate portrayals of Native Americans in the media.
For those looking to take part in Indigenous People’s Day, there’s a hip-hop concert at 5 p.m. at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.