Monday, October 13, 2014

Indigenous People's Day! Yay!

Years ago, when I worked for the City of Minneapolis, the Native American presence on Franklin Avenue was not as strong as it is these days. The concept of creating an American Indian Cultural Corridor hadn't caught on, although some of the building blocks were there, including a gallery specializing in Native American arts in the Ancient Traders Market.

Northland Visions at Ancient Trader's Market
Photo by J. Harrington

I'm pleased by the improvements that have occurred in the Corridor, including this afternoon's notable celebration of Indigenous People's Day.
Monday, October 13th from 4:00pm - 7:00pm at the Minneapolis American Indian Center (1530 E. Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN) to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day!

This past April, Minneapolis became the first city in Minnesota to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

There will be a community meal with indigenous foods from throughout North and South America provided by Native chefs Sean Sherman and Cheo Smith, a film screening of "Women Are Sacred," by bfreshproductions, community speakers and cultural performances.

The first 500 people will receive Indigenous Peoples Day t-shirts and the first 250 people will receive a limited edition silk screened poster.

This event is free and open to the public. Please invite your colleagues, family and friends! We look forward to honoring and celebrating the decades of hard work to achieve this historic community victory.

Perhaps, with luck, persistence, good faith and much hard work, Minneapolis could lead the way for Minnesota to become a national leader in sustainable development for all those indigenous or native to a place, as Wes Jackson describes:
Our task is to build cultural fortresses to protect our emerging nativeness. They must be strong enough to hold at bay the powers of consumerism, the powers of greed and envy and pride. We have to call the shopping malls and Wal-Marts what they are: the modern cathedrals of secular materialism. One of the most effective ways for this to come about would be for our universities to assume the awesome responsibility of both validating and educating those who want to be homecomers—not to return, necessarily, to their original home, but to go someplace and dig in and begin the long journey to becoming native.
I, for one, commend the University of Minnesota for their work on a sustainable community at UMore Park, but think it would be so much better if they didn't have to rely on British Consultants to help work through what that means. Perhaps we should all try to follow Joy Harjo's A Map to the Next World andthen participate on November 2 with the Native Americans plan to mount largest-ever Redskins protest at Vikings game.

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