Together we call upon the University of Kansas to recognize today as Indigenous Peoples Day. With its origins in the 1977 International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americans, Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the valuable contributions made by Indigenous peoples. Such recognition is especially appropriate at KU, where the University highly regards its relationship with Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and Haskell Indian Nations University.
Recognition of October 10, 2016 as Indigenous Peoples Day is also consistent with recommendations made by other groups on campus. In the April 27, 2016 Report of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Group submitted to Chancellor Gray-Little and then acting Provost Sara Rosen, it was recommended that the University “[r]ecognize Indigenous People’s Day in honor of Native American contributions to the community.” Further, on October 3, 2016, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group issued a statement on recent protests and institutional change. In relevant part, the statement states:
Further, in accordance with the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and as specified in the DEI report from law year, we require the University recognize this coming Monday (10/10) as Indigenous People’s Day. This requirement is only a start to move forward on the recommendations laid out last year, including strengthening the relationship with Haskell Indian Nations University and enhancing KU’s commitment to Indigenous Studies and our Indigenous and First Nations communities at the University.
The City of Lawrence declared October 12, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Day. The City’s declaration is consistent with those of numerous other cities and states, which have all decided to recognize the crucial contributions of Indigenous peoples.
Accordingly, we call on the University to honor its commitment to Indigenous peoples by recognizing October 10, 2016 as Indigenous Peoples Day.
First Nations Student Association
Indigenous Studies Program
KU Tribal Law and Government Center
Native American Faculty and Staff Council
Center for American Indian Community Health, University of Kansas Medical Center
KU Department of American Studies
KU Black Law Students Association
KU Student Senate
KU Project on the History of Black Writing