Indigenous Peoples Day 2022

Cheerful navajo sisters hugging

Monday, October 10 marks Indigenous Peoples Day, which is celebrated each year on the second Monday in October. This day is a time to honor and celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Native American people in the United States. It is also a time to acknowledge and reflect upon the grave mistreatment of Indigenous people throughout U.S. history.

In 2021, President Biden issued the first presidential proclamation on Indigenous Peoples Day. The proclamation read in part: “For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.”

Fenway Health supports the move to honor Indigenous peoples from the Americas by marking the second Monday of October each year as Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. In 2020, we eliminated Columbus Day as an organizational holiday, replacing it instead with a floating holiday individual staff can use for a religious or cultural observance/occasion or other purpose of their choosing.

Fenway’s mission advocates for and delivers innovative, equitable, accessible health care, supportive services, and transformative research and education. It also centers LGBTQIA+ people, BIPOC individuals, and other underserved communities to enable our local, national, and global neighbors to flourish.

There are many ways to honor Indigenous Peoples Day in the Boston area this year. On October 8, a march will be held at Park Street in Boston to call for statewide recognition of Indigenous Peoples Day.

Local public Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations will be held in Boston, Newton, Brookline, Watertown, Salem, and many other cities and towns. For a complete list of Indigenous Peoples Day events across Massachusetts, click here.

To learn more about the histories of Native people in Massachusetts, visit the websites of United American Indians of New England (UAINE), North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB), and Cultural Survival. Or check out the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum’s exhibit, “Our Story: The Complicated Relationship of the Indigenous Wampanoag and the Mayflower Pilgrims.”

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