Antioch College recognizes Monday, October 2, 2020 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in order to raise more awareness to the unique, rich history of this land that is inextricably tied to the first peoples of this country and thereby recognize the culture and history of Native peoples. One way that our community is bringing awareness to different Indigenous issues today is by wearing red to honor those who are missing and murdered.
At noon, a “Land Acknowledgement” was delivered by Shane Creepingbear ’08 (Kiowa) in collaboration with Chief Ben Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe – based in Miami, OK, whose people were forcibly removed from Ohio areas around Wapakoneta in 1831. Other contributors include Dawn Knickerbocker (Anishinaabe), and support from the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition (GCNAC).
“Land acknowledgments are a first step in the greater process of decolonization,” Shane explains. “They must be followed up and committed to with other work or they might be deemed as superficial. I would like listeners to take the opportunity to do some investigation on their own behalf on what decolonization is and reflect on the genocide that settler colonialism has inflicted upon indigenous communities on Turtle Island. I would like people to sit with the discomfort in the realization that people were forcibly removed from their ancestral homeland and reflect.”
Shane continues, “Students, faculty, and staff should use the Land Acknowledgment during any campus-wide events or external community events. They should also feel free to use the land acknowledgment as they deem necessary in their own work especially if the land is part of the work they are presenting or engaging with. Decolonization also points to a defense of the wild and ecology and should be used when engaging in sustainability efforts.”
The campus community was also encouraged to participate in the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition’s Convergence workshops on Indigenous sovereignty, land and water rights, education, economic development, cultural and language maintenance and promotion, religious freedom, and resistance movements. And students Ashley Matias Matos ’22 and Feroz Anir ’22 planned a presentation on Race Relations & Indigeneity in Latin America broadcast on anti-watt.org from 7:00 to 11:00 PM.
By taking action on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we hope to increase our understanding of the complexity, diversity, and relevancy of Native peoples; we hope to incorporate Native narratives and introduce students to the rich cultures of Native people today, and we hope to raise awareness of the need to address the historical and current acts of xenophobia and discrimination across the country.
*Photo: Hopewellian “Orators Mound” in The Glen Helen Nature Preserve.