[Daily Bruin] UCLA students, faculty celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day in event

By Hedy Wang
Posted: October 10, 2017 1:38 am

A tribal elder of the FernandeñoTataviam Band of Mission Indians burned sage in the air as the chair of the Los Angeles City and County Indian Commission gave a blessing to all those present at an Indigenous Peoples Day celebration Monday.

The event, which was hosted by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center at the Fowler Museum, celebrated the Los Angeles City Council’s decision in August to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Los Angeles City Council members and representatives from the city and county American Indian commission spoke at the event, which also featured performances by indigenous singers, dancers and drummers.

Mitch O’Farrell, the councilmember who spearheaded the campaign to pass the measure, thanked individuals and organizations who helped lobby for the change. O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation, said he hopes the rest of the country will follow Los Angeles’ decision to create Indigenous Peoples Day.

“Here’s what happens when LA takes action: The rest of the country listens,” he said. “We will inevitably effectuate change across this country … erase Columbus Day as a federal holiday and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day across the United States.”

Shannon Speed, AISC director and an associate professor in the departments of anthropology and gender studies, said many individuals at the event worked on the campaign to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

“It was really a great thing for all of us to be able to come together, to celebrate this victory,” she said. “It really was a great first celebration, and I think it was a great honor to be able to host it at UCLA.”

Speed, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, added she hopes AISC continues to celebrate the holiday on campus.

Read the full article at: http://dailybruin.com/2017/10/10/ucla-students-faculty-celebrate-indigenous-peoples-day-in-event/