Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Honoring and Respecting California Indians and all Native/Indigenous People

On Monday, Californians will honor California Indians, Native Americans, and California indigenous peoples with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation to recognize October 14, 2019 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. CFA expects and hopes the Governor again issues the same proclamation for October 12 (also known as Columbus Day) to formally end the shamefully antiquated glorification celebration of Christopher Columbus’ campaign of oppression and extermination directed at Native Americans since 1492.

Last summer, the Governor also apologized to California Indians for the suffering they endured throughout the state’s history; a small but important start in recognizing the systematic erasure of California Indians since the first colonizer stepped on this land. As the Governor said last year, “California Native American peoples suffered violence, discrimination and exploitation sanctioned by state government throughout its history. We can never undo the wrongs inflicted on the peoples who have lived on this land that we now call California since time immemorial, but we can work together to build bridges, tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds.”

There are a number of resources to read on Monday (and frankly everyday) to better understand the lived experience, cultures, traditions, and contributions of Native/Indigenous Peoples. CFA’s Native American and Indigenous People’s Caucus compiled a list of important and relevant articles, books, and websites.

As a union dedicated to anti-racism and social justice, CFA respects and honors Indian Country protocol by starting off meetings and events with a land acknowledgment. Land Acknowledgments not only honor the land, but seek to recognize and to make visible the original people of California and the Native American community. CFA has asked all of its members and chapters to conduct land acknowledgments during official meetings. To better understand the traditional lands of the people you are living on, please visit Native-Land.ca. To help get a better idea of land acknowledgement protocol, please visit the CSU San Marcos Cultural and Sovereignty Center guide.

Additional resources include: