English Language Arts: Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an Act of Sovereignty Part 2Student View (Opens in new window)
Throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries tribal nations and Indigenous communities have
continued to assert their right to self-governance and sovereignty despite numerous efforts to force
them to assimilate. By extension, the purposeful erasure of Indigenous peoples as a living and thriving presence in the contemporary world also remains a reality.
Tribal sovereignty predates the existence of the U.S. government and the state of Oregon. Tribal governments are separate and unique sovereign nations with the power to execute their self governance to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens and to govern their lands, air, and waters. One of the ways Indigenous communities have been embodying their right to sovereignty is through the establishment of an Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as reminder of the contributions, both past and present, of Indigenous communities and tribal nations.
This lesson extends the knowledge gained from Part I by asking students to make meaning of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and to explore how advocacy leads to a local proclamation and change.