On Monday, October 11, SheJumps celebrates Indigenous People’s Day. We encourage our community to do the same.
Photo by Stephanie Bergeron
Celebrating Indigenous People’s Day is a way to center the incredible culture, achievements, strength, and powerful resilience of Indigenous people around North America (and the world). This holiday rejects the narrative that Christopher Columbus discovered America. In fact, Indigenous people had been thriving in what is now known as North America for tens of thousands of years. When many of us were growing up, the second Monday in October was often celebrated as Columbus Day and now, since we know better, we can do better!
The concept that Columbus “discovered” and conquered North America on behalf of the Spanish empire is part of a colonial “story” that makes all Western settlers seem like they are on an upward trend toward the improvement and expanded civilization that might somehow seem to have benefited everyone. But the truth is, Columbus raped, pillaged, and murdered Indigenous people in order to claim this land on behalf of Europeans. It is estimated that 95% of the Indigenous population was lost in the 130 years following Columbus’ arrival .
We encourage our community to celebrate Indigenous People’s day and educate yourself on the ways in which we have all benefited (and continue to benefit) from stolen Indigenous lands and systemic erasure of Indigenous stories, culture, and struggles.
Photo by Christian Joudrey
SheJumps has two resources to help our community reconnect with the lands where we recreate. They are blog posts exploring the relationship between adventure and the land, and getting started with land acknowledgement [2,3].
“You can also learn about the Land Back movement, a campaign that seeks to establish political and economic control to Indigenous people in the United States and Canada over land that belonged to them prior to colonization” .
Consider researching local Indigenous groups and finding out what current events or issues are and investigating current ways they are seeking support—whether in monetary or advocacy forms.
SheJumps is an inclusive organization. We welcome all women and girls (transgender and cisgender) as well as non-binary people who self-identify with the women’s community. SheJumps strives to be an ally in the fight against racism and acknowledges that our events and programs take place on traditional, unceded Indigenous lands.