Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a national holiday in North America that is celebrated in various cities and states.
It began in 1977 when the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas began to discuss replacing Columbus Day in the United States with a celebration to be known as Indigenous Peoples Day. The entire states of South Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii, and Oregon do not celebrate Columbus Day. In order to celebrate the holiday, here are some organizations that readers can learn about and support.
Association on American Indian Affairs
The Eastern Association on Indian Affairs was started in New York in 1922 to assist a group of Pueblo people seeking to protect their land rights. The following decades saw it growing and merging with other like-minded organizations and it became the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) in 1946.
Over the years AAIA has played an integral part in drafting a number of important laws, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act. They have established organizations like the Medicine Wheel Coalition for the Protection of Sacred Sites and negotiated landmark agreements to protect sacred lands such as the Bighorn Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain in Wyoming. They have awarded scholarships to Native American college and graduate students from both federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes.
Native American Rights Fund
Since 1971, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has provided legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide who might otherwise have gone without adequate representation. NARF has successfully asserted and defended the most important rights of Indians and tribes in hundreds of major cases, and has achieved significant results in such critical areas as tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, and Indian education. NARF is a non-profit 501c(3) organization that focuses on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that national and state governments live up to their legal obligations.
American Indian College Fund
Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation’s largest charity supporting Native student access to higher education for more than 25 years, consistently receiving top ratings from independent charity evaluators. The American Indian College Fund invests in Native students and tribal college education to transform lives and communities.
Redhawk Native American Arts Council
The Redhawk Native American Arts Council is a not for profit organization founded and maintained by Native American artists and educators residing in the New York City area. Since 1994, the Council is dedicated to educating the general public about Native American heritage through song, dance, theater, works of art and other cultural forms of expression. The council represents artists from North, South, Central American, Caribbean and Polynesian Indigenous cultures.
Native American Journalists Association
The Native American Journalists Association serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures.
For more than 30 years, NAJA has remained committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists working in media, while encouraging both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility.
Dream Warriors is a collective of artists who believe in pursuing passions, dreams, and gifts to better loved ones and communities while also uplifting others. Founded by Tanaya Winder, Dream Warriors Management is an innovative artist management company created to bring together different talented artists, speakers, and educators who embody the values of what it means to be a Dream Warrior. Dream Warriors Management currently consists of Indigenous Artists: Kelly Holmes, Kenn Little, John Little, Mic Jordan, Tall Paul, Frank Waln, Chris “Def-I” Bidtah, Noah Blue Elk Hotchkiss, and Tanaya Winder. Tanaya also manages the artists and does the administrative work for the Dream Warriors.
Each artist travels to perform concerts, run workshops, teach empowerment and artistic skill sets, showcase his/her performance art & artistry, and speak at various engagements throughout the country. In addition to their artistic endeavors, they hustle hard to work within communities whenever they get the opportunity. Together, they developed the Dream Warriors Scholarship.