Indigenous Peoples Day gives some Native Americans hope for people to learn about history
Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day has grown in popularity in recent years as more cities and states officially declare the holiday.
In 2021, President Joe Biden declared at the federal level that Columbus Day would also be Indigenous Peoples Day.
It is about honoring the lives of Indigenous peoples and celebrating their contributions to history.
For Amanda Vance, president of the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, she enjoys celebrating family holidays and visiting her mother’s grave.
“She built this reservation from scratch,” Tribal Chairman Vance described.
The Cahuilla people have deep roots in the Coachella Valley. During the 1800s, there were thousands of members in the Augustinian tribe. Now that number is down to just 18 today.
On the Augustine Tribe’s website, it is stated that they struggled to exist for decades because of European settlers.
“It’s important to know that some of these tribes were almost lost because of what happened. There are a lot of people who died from illnesses,” Tribal Chairman Vance said. “I just want people to know that the natives are still here, we’re still working, we’re still working with the communities around us, and we’re still building.”
She is happy that more people are discovering her roots and those of the other tribes.
Recently, the city of Coachella officially declared its observance of Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.
Coachella Mayor Pro Tem Josie Gonzalez said it’s important to recognize and celebrate true Native history.
County offices are closed on holidays, as are post offices, government buildings, and Riverside County offices.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, the Native American Arts Program at Idllywild Arts is hosting an event.
It is free and takes place from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. then from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Related story: Check out Indigenous Peoples Day at the Idyllwild Arts Center on October 10