Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

California Natives gather in front of City Hall to celebrate Los Angeles's second annual Indigenous Peoples Day. October 14, 2019, Los Angeles, California. (Photo courtesy of Helena Tsosie)

Rethinking How We Celebrate American History—Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Happy Indigenous Peoples' Day! On Monday, more states, cities, and communities than ever will observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of or in addition to Columbus Day. They’re part of a larger movement to see a more complete and accurate history of the United States taught in our schools and public spaces. Given research showing that the majority of state and local curriculum standards end their study of Native American history before 1900, the importance of celebrating the survival and contemporary experience of Native peoples has never been clearer.

Gabrielle Lee (Kanaka Maoli), the first Native Hawaiian cultural interpreter on the staff of the National Museum of the American Indian, in a small section of the New York Botanical Garden that features plants native to Hawai‘i. (Courtesy of Gabbi Lee)

Aloha Opens the Door to Learning