What is Swadeshi People’s Day?

The United States Postal Service and post office will be closed in observance of Columbus Day, as will most banks. Most government offices and libraries will remain closed. Stores and most grocery stores like Walmart and Target are open.

In some cities, such as New York, garbage and recycling collection is suspended.

Activists in cities across the country such as Denver and Seattle have opposed Columbus Day for years and in many cases struggled to gain recognition for Indigenous People’s Day. There have also been informal celebrations of indigenous cultures on that day, including in New York’s Randall’s Island.

The Navajo Nation, the country’s largest tribe, with nearly 400,000 people, has long lent its support for the day to be renamed. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a statement before Biden’s announcement: “Turning Columbus Day into Indigenous People’s Day will encourage young Navajo to take pride in the place and the people they come to and The beauty they keep within themselves.” .

However, some say that simply observing the day is not enough, and point out that no US president has explicitly apologized for the treatment of the country’s indigenous people. Others call it an important first step.

“I think it really recognizes that Indigenous people are still here,” said Alanna Hurley, executive director of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a federation of indigenous communities in southwest Alaska, and a Yupik fisherman in Alaska. “We’ve just struggled to recognize—for so long—mainstream America—and the vast majority of culture—that we just aren’t in the history books.”

He said, “We are still fighting for our land and our water and our way of life. This visibility is huge, because we have been fighting for so long to be made invisible by mainstream society. “

Supporters of the day say it can help draw attention to some of the ways Indigenous people are discriminated against and address climate change, gender violence and health issues, as well as mining, drilling and Indigenous lands affected by both public and indigenous peoples are disproportionately affected. personal projects.

Leave a Comment