Community celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 8:05 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Communities across the country are celebrating what was traditionally known as Columbus Day, and is now being celebrated as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

This morning Lansing Community College marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day with a tree dedication and land acknowledgment. The LCC Board recently adopted a resolution acknowledging that the campus was once inhabited by the Anishinaabeg people.

The Anishinaabeg people include the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples.

The tree was dedicated with a prayer, traditional indigenous smudging, and an overview of the contributions and history of mid-Michigan’s many indigenous communities.

Samantha and Derek Vaive attended and spoke at the ceremony. Derek is a member of the Ojibwe community and performed the smudging ceremony. Samantha says she hopes today’s ceremony will be an important teaching moment for people.

“To walk every day across the land to go to classes, knowing that this was once the land of your people and it’s not anymore, that’s something they carry with them every single moment of every single day. So to take time to let them know that we see them and we understand them. And then to give the rest of the community an opportunity to learn.” said Samantha.

She also says she hopes these events will encourage more people to celebrate Indigenous People.

Students at Michigan State University marched across campus this evening in celebration of the occasion. The group called attention to Michigan’s unique Indigenous cultures as well issues that still face Indigenous communities.

On Friday, President Biden issued a proclamation commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day and acknowledged the destruction of Native communities that followed the arrival of Christopher Columbus in North American in the 15th Century.

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