This last week we are honored to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day!  This day, proclaimed by President Biden in 2022, to be recognized on October 9th, is also called First People’s Day or Native American Day!

Today, we recognize the many accomplishments, achievements, and contributions of Indigenous people in American history, society, and culture. Do you know about the things developed by Indigenous People? Native Americans created  the first chewing gum! You have surely come across several inventions in your leisure time – things like canoeing, lacrosse, hammocks, and kayaks. There were also discoveries made that led the way in medicine, such as pain relievers and mouthwash.

We honor all of these contributions that have been adopted in America.  We also acknowledge that this community of people have faced extraordinary challenges over the years and into the present day. Throughout history, the Indigenous people have encountered genocide, dislocation, intolerable living conditions, physical, mental, and social abuse in a way that lends itself to incomprehensible trauma.

The White House Proclamation signed on October 7, 2022, appointed Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior, the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary, along with more than 50 other Native Americans now in significant roles across the executive branch.  With the understanding that there is so much more to do, this action raises the voices of the Native communities in effort to restore dignity, justice, and good faith.

To demonstrate our respect to our Native American communities, at GED events from now on, we will honor our Indigenous communities by starting the meetings with a land acknowledgment similar to this: We would like to honor all the ancestral stewards of this land on which we meet today and their descendants living in over 1,000 Tribes, Nations, Bands, Pueblos, Communities or Native Villages.

To learn more about Indigenous People’s Day and get to know the life and history of Native Americans, check out these resources:

A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2022 | The White House

The Native American Government That Helped Inspire the US Constitution:

10 Native American Inventions Commonly Used Today:

Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Things You Wouldn’t Have Without Native Americans:

European Colonizers Killed So Many Native Americans That It Changed the Global Climate

Native American Life Today:

Native American Living Conditions Today:

Earth system impacts of the European arrival and Great Dying in the Americas after 1492 – ScienceDirect