Take That Columbus! Fourth Annual Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in New York

Vincent Schilling

9 Indigenous organizations will gather in New York to unify and bring awareness to Indigenous People’s Day on Oct 7 & 8

On October 7 and 8 a consortium of 9 Indigenous organizations will gather in the New York City area to unify and bring awareness to Indigenous People’s Day, traditionally celebrated as Columbus Day.

These nine Indigenous organizations coming to the New York area are the American Indian Community House, the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, the United Confederation of Taino People, the Kechiwa Nation, the Halawai, the Naoiwi, Shinnecock Cultural Arts and the Ramapough Nation.

The celebration in New York City follows the recognition of other major cities and states across the country to include San Francisco; Los Angeles; Alaska; Vermont; Multnomah County, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; Olympia, Washington; Traverse City, Michigan; and Albuquerque, and Sandoval County in New Mexico.

“These localities have all replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, banding together to call on Americans to re-think who, and what Columbus Day symbolizes to Indigenous people of the Americas,” says organizer Cliff Matias of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council.

“On Columbus Day weekend in 2015 for the first time ever in NYC, 6,000 Indigenous people and their supporters gathered on Randall’s Island to celebrate the 523 year survival of First Nations cultures and traditions. The event received worldwide media coverage and was the beginning of creating Indigenous Peoples Day in NYC.”

“In 2018, we once again will be rethinking Columbus Day with a focus on Indigenous people, their beautiful cultures and traditions. This free two day celebration will be hosted on the beautiful Harlem River field in front of the Icon Stadium on Randall’s Island,” said Matias.

The event begins Sunday 11am with Native American artists, performers, and traditional groups sharing throughout the day. Some of the headlining artists will be Nahko Bear, Robert Mirabal, and Raye Zaragoza.

On Monday October 8th there will be a 7am sunrise ceremony honoring Native people around the world who have endured and survived 526 years of genocide.

Leaders, Elders and Medicine people from across North American the Caribbean, Polynesian Islands and South America will sing, pray, and share their cultural traditions with guests overlooking the East River.

Monday will continue with a celebration of spoken word, music, traditional performing artists, guest speakers and contemporary performances; coupled with over 40 traditional artist booths sharing and selling traditional works, crafts and jewelry.

Information about the Fourth Annual Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration in New York

Where: Harlem River Field in front of Icahn Stadium Randall’s Island, Harlem, New York

When: October 7 & 8

Time: Sunday October 7, 11am - 6pm, Monday October 8, 7am to 4pm

General Information: (718) 686-9297

Organizer Contact: Cliff Matias

E-mail: native@redhawkcouncil.org

(917) 693-6581

Website: www.redhawkcouncil.org

Indigenous Peoples Day - Native American Festival - October 12, 2015

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