Indigenous Peoples Week
The designated day in October known as, Columbus Day, is a federal holiday established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937. This holiday also provides us the opportunity to acknowledge the important legacy of indigenous identity, history and culture in Connecticut, across the nation and the Americas, and across the globe. As a land grant university and Connecticut’s flagship public institution, we recognize that we share this land and our history with those who have come before us and continue to reside, work, and live in our state.
The very name of the state of Connecticut derives from the Mohegan word Quinnitukqut, meaning “long, tidal river”. Connecticut is home to numerous indigenous communities, including but not limited to the Mahican tribes, the Minisink, the Mohegan tribes, the Pequot, Nipmuc, the Qquiripi tribes (including the Mattabesic, Paugusett, and Schaghticoke), the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, and the Eastern Pequot. In recognizing their continued existence and claim to this land, we seek to strengthen our relationship with these neighbors and join with towns, cities, and universities across the United States in acknowledging their contributions, past and present, to the health and vitality of our shared communities.
Many US cities and universities have adopted a recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day on the holiday traditionally being recognized as Columbus Day, in order to bring light to this important history.
Acknowledging the history of indigenous people is one-step on a journey towards ensuring a community of inclusive excellence here at the University of Connecticut. We encourage you to use this week as an opportunity for educational enhancement and a celebration of the cultures and histories of Indigenous peoples, on this campus and beyond.
The Native American Cultural Programs recognizes Indigenous People’s Week through a variety events such as:
- Film Screenings & Discussions
- Akomawt Land Acknowledgement Activity
- Guest Speakers
- “A Belated Justice” Campus Dialogue
- Continuing push to officially recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day
Native American Heritage Month
The month of November is dedicated to observing the culture and history of the Native American population. NACP plans a number of events throughout the month to celebrate Native culture and educate or campus community on the true history of the Native peoples. Some of are events have included:
- Keynote Speaker- Winona LaDuke (watch keynote address HERE!)
- Friendsgiving- the true history of Thanksgiving
- Paint Night- Tribal painting
Lecture and Films
Different UConn faculty are brought in to discuss topics such as Two Spirits, Dawnland, Scared Water Standing Rock, Language Death and Resurrection as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline. We also offer a space for study and relaxation five days a week as well as resources for Native Students.
Rising Sun Powwow
UConn’s Annual Rising Sun Spring Powwow is a time to engage in a cultural celebration with music, dancing, vendors and food that are indicative to Native culture. If you are interested in being a part of next year’s powwow, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to know more about what a powwow looks like? Watch UConn Rising Sun Powwow 2018 HERE!