Published October 12, 2015
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – One might say it was a homecoming powwow of sorts. For it was Berkeley, California, the first city in the United States to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day back in 1992.
Words are words, meanings are meanings, actions are actions and things change.
Looking at our past can horrify us. The crimes done by the human race, the genocide that has been committed against people in the name of someone else’s so-called progress. Yet celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in Berkeley is a chance where the truth shines like the morning sun peaking over the land, and it gets stronger and stronger with each passing moment. Berkeley’s annual powwow held on the weekend that others celebrate Columbus, allows Native people to write a different chapter in history: to celebrate the truth of our existence.
One might say they know how to really celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Berkeley, where the day, named Indigenous Peoples’ Day, first originated.
Berkeley not only was the first city to celebrate Indigenous Peoles Day, but Berkeley City Council sent a letter to President Obama asking for executive clemency for Leonard Peltier November, 2011. You can get involved and forward funds to Leonard’s commissary account.
Opening prayer by Lake County Pomo Indians celebrating the day and the awareness of life in the same manner as there relatives have for time immemorial.
Native News Online photos by Christopher Burquez