Serena Denetsosie is the Deputy Associate Superintendent in our Office of Indian Education.
In September, Governor Ducey signed a proclamation to include Indigenous Peoples' Day which is celebrated by Arizona’s 22 federally recognized Tribal Nations, 574 federally recognized Tribes nationwide and 476 million Indigenous people worldwide. Some may ask why this would be of importance or significance? As Five-Fingered People, we recognize the need to be acknowledged and this is the beginning of having those challenging and needed discussions around human interactions.
Indigenous Peoples' Day presents the opportunity to:
- See and hear accurate representation of who Indigenous Peoples are, who we come from & how we will move forward
- To honor sacrifices made, challenges faced, & ideas fought for to understand this path we are on
- A day to share traditions, values and opportunity to strengthen cultural humility and begin healing discussions
- A day gives us shoulders to stand on & represents the balance of both challenge & triumph
At this first Indigenous Peoples' Day in Arizona, know the true story of Native Americans and Columbus. In finding balance of these two stories we have a chance to find out who we are today, as a nation, and a reminder to honor Native American contributions and sacrifices. Take time to hear the stories of the Indigenous People, the first people, of America in order to continue to make this country what its name can be.
I encourage our educators and education community to explore the below resources and dsicuss them with their students, families, and colleagues.
Information on Arizona's 22 Tribal Nations
Information on the United State's 574 Tribal Nations
Information for Indigenous People Worldwide
Resources for Cultural Humility:
- All My Relations
- While Indigenous
- Think Indigenous
Other Helpful Links to Look At: