Oct. 10—Indigenous Peoples' Day

WSU Vancouver recognizes Indigenous Peoples' Day. 

Indigenous Peoples' Day was first proposed in 1977 during a United Nations conference on discrimination against indigenous populations in the Americas. Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes that Native people are the first inhabitants of the Americas, including the lands that later became the United States of America. By 1990, movements to formalize Indigenous Peoples or Native American Day gained momentum. The movement continues to expand present day with formalized recognitions across states, cities and organizations throughout the United States, including universities and schools. 

WSU acknowledges that its locations statewide are on the homelands of Native peoples who have lived in this region from time immemorial. WSU has a formal memorandum of understanding to increase access for Native American students, faculty and staff; recognize Native American achievements at the university; and strengthen the relationship between the university and sovereign tribal nations. Currently, there are 42 tribes, 35 of which are federally recognized, that share traditional homelands and waterways in what is now Washington state. The agreement remains open for inclusion of additional sovereign tribal nations. 

In 2018, WSU President Kirk Schulz issued a proclamation that instituted the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day at WSU. This is reinforced by the above memorandum of understanding and reflects the disposition of Indigenous lands by coercive and violent means, and, in Southwest Washington, the absence of a treaty. WSU Vancouver is located in the homelands of Chinookan and Taidanapam peoples, and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. The WSU Office of Tribal Relations and Native American Programs provides guidance in relationships with tribes and services to Native American students and communities. WSU has pledged that these relationships will consist of mutual trust, respect and reciprocity. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Keynote Speaker: Lyman McGilvery
4 – 6 p.m. Oct. 10

McGilvery is an enrolled member of Saddle Lake First Nation. He gathers and weaves sweetgrass for community use in ceremonies and gifts. His long braids of sweet grass are famous across Cree country, Turtle Island and abroad. Hailing from a family that conducts ceremonies and the upkeep of ancient Cree traditions, he is a speaker for many families in Saddle Lake, Canada. He is also a fluent Cree speaker and a well-known singer. He will share his lifetime wisdom with sweetgrass and share a few traditional songs.

Federal Recognition and Indigenous Sovereignty Talk with Lana Jack
12:05 – 1:20 p.m. Oct. 12
Library Building, Room 261 or Zoom, Meeting ID: 983 7749 8753; Passcode: FederaRec 
In recognition of Native American Awareness Week

Advocate and activist Lana Jack will talk about the case for federal tribal recognition and Indigenous sovereignty. 

Free the Snake and Nimiipuu Canoe project: A Healing Journey and Talk with Julian Matthews 
10:35 – 11:50 a.m. Oct. 13
Library Building, Room 260 or Zoom, Meeting ID: 914 0765 5014; Passcode: FreeTSnake 
In recognition of Native American Awareness Week

“We are a voice for the land, water and air. We gather to support positive environmental actions and to protest threats to our treaty, rights and sacred lands. We increase public awareness and encourage collective action. We organize and/or host events to educate and engage the public. We work with elders and the young to facilitate intergenerational awareness and responsibility to protect what is sacred to us. We develop environmental leaders for the coming generations.” 

Screening of “Heart of the Monster” 
12:05 – 1:20 p.m. Oct. 13
Library Building, Room 260 or via Zoom, Meeting ID: 959 9522 9375; Passcode: HeartOTMon 
In recognition of Native American Awareness Week

Nimiipuu titwaatit 'Nez Perce Story' screening of the documentary “Heart of the Monster.” There is a creation story at the center of every culture. For the Nimiipuu, or Nez Perce, the story of their people begins at the landmark near present day Kamiah, Idaho called timʼné•pe, or Heart of the Monster, where Iceye'ye (coyote) killed a monster who was eating all of the animals. Students, staff, faculty and guests are welcome. Julian Ankney will facilitate this session by speaking on the importance of storywork and language revitalization.  

WSU Native American Advisory Board MOU WSU 25th Celebration  
Oct. 13 and 14
WSU Pullman
In recognition of Native American Awareness Week

The WSU system will recognize the 25th anniversary of its Memorandum of Understanding that states, together with the signatory tribes, WSU wishes “to create a structure to strengthen the relationships between them, and to improve the quality of educational services and opportunities provided” and to “increase access to, and Native American Achievements at, WSU.” The complete MOU can be read here. WSU Vancouver will be represented at this celebration by the Chancellor, Coordinator of Native American Programs and members of the Native American Community Advisory Board.