Here We Come Again, Columbus! 2nd Annual NY Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Headdress

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

On Monday, October 10th, when most New Yorkers were enjoying a day off, attending a sad-looking parade on 5th Avenue, or simply working as usual, a group of beautiful people gathered on Randall’s Island in Manhattan to celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures. The Red Hawk Native American Arts Council hosted the 2nd Annual NY Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration, Here We Come Again, Columbus!  The event, like many similar events across the United States, is held strategically on Columbus Day as part of a movement to officially change the holiday’s name to Indigenous Peoples Day.  Rather than celebrating the “legacy” of Christopher Columbus, whose arrival in the Americas led to the genocide of native people and pillaging of the land, we should be celebrating the indigenous peoples and cultures that survived in the face of European imperialism, capitalism, and oppression.  The event included a campout and sunrise ceremony, followed by a day of music, song, spoken word, guest speakers, art, and food.  This year’s celebration also served to honor and generate support for the movement to stop the Dakota Access oil Pipeline.

The 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) would span four states, from Bakken Shale in North Dakota to a storage tank in Illinois, most of which is indigenous land.  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a lawsuit in July with Army Corps of Engineers for not following proper permitting processes.  When impacting Native lands, federal law requires a “reasonable and good faith effort” to consult with tribes. (Source:  Wall Street Journal).  Like most oil pipelines, DAPL would threaten local ecosystems and water supplies, generating concern from environmentalists, local native populations, and quite frankly, anyone who actually cares about future generations.   Since August, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have been occupying the land around the pipeline’s route in an effort to stave off its construction.  These courageous warriors and water protectors have been joined by Native and non-native allies from across the United States.  The initial lawsuit was lost, but overruled by federal agencies who attempted to halt construction.  In an effort to influence federal judges, activists gathered thousands of signatures in opposition to the pipeline and Standing Rock youth ran with the petition the 2,000 miles from Cannonball, ND to Washington DC to deliver it to the hands of policy makers.  Unfortunately, on Sunday, a federal appeals court reaffirmed the original ruling to move forward with the pipeline.  Activists continue to fight the pipeline, with growing support, even amidst a media blackout, and even bravely putting themselves physically in the paths of bulldozers.

Participants from the actions at Standing Rock and the run from Cannonball shared their stories, their wisdom, and their songs on Monday, encouraging others to get involved both locally and on the front lines at Standing Rock.  I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day than rallying in support for the land and waters that have sustained us since the beginning of time and should continue to do so for future generations.  I must say, the fry bread tacos were on point, too.

Find more information and get involved to STOP the Dakota Access Pipeline:

Standing Rock Website

10 Ways to Get Involved

Facebook Group

Water Protectors

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Water Protectors speak about the Dakota Access Pipeline at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Water Protectors

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Water Protectors speak about the Dakota Access Pipeline at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: a Jingle Dancer performs at the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: a Jingle Dancer performs at the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: a Jingle Dancer performs at the Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dress

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: a jingle dancer’s dress usually has 365 jingles, one for each day of the year.

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants form a unity circle at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration to stand in solidarity with those courageously fighting the Daktoa Access Pipeline on the frontlines.

Powow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: a participant dancing at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Standing Rock Bus

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: The Corn Bus has been carrying participants to and from the site at Standing Rock, where Native Americans are fighting to preserve their water in the face of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants dance in a unity circle at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration to stand in solidarity with those courageously fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline on the frontline.

Solidarity

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants stand in solidarity with those fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Powwow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Celebration was filled with Indigenous music, dancing, and other performances.

Powow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Celebration was filled with Indigenous music, dancing, and other performances.

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants dance in a unity circle at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants dance in a unity circle at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Veterans

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Veterans dance and are honored at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Veterans

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Veterans are honored at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Veteran

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A Native American veteran holds the flag during a special song for veterans at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Girls Singing

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An indigenous girls group from Queens performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Girls Dancing

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An indigenous girls group from Queens performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Girls Dancing

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An indigenous girls group from Queens performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

The Runners

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Young men from the Lakota and Sioux tribe perform a song at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration. This song was sung every day on the run from Cannonball. Native youth ran 2000 miles, from Cannonball ND to Washington DC to deliver petitions opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Keith

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Keith, one of the protesters at Standing Rock, performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Nap

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A participant takes a quick nap at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Powow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A participant explains various instruments at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants dance in a unity circle at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A jingle dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A jingle dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A jingle dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Jingle Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A jingle dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Powow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A young dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Headwear

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Headwear

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Grass Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A grass dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Grass Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A grass dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Grass Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A grass dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Powow

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A participant watches the performances at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Dream Catcher

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A dream catcher catches the breeze at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Water is Life

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration, hosted by the Red Hawk Native American Arts Council, was both a celebration of Indigenous Cultures, and a rally for support in fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. This crude oil pipeline would span four states, significantly affecting access to clean drinking water. Native American tribes in this area are currently engaged in a standoff with the government, defending the indigenous land and water they depend on fr survival.

Food

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Lots of food options at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Indian Taco

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Indian Fry bread taco at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Bracelets

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Bracelets for sale at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Singer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A performer sings a water song at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Girl

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A young Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer presents an offering during her performance at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration. This indigenous group comes from Tenochitlan in Mexico.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A young Aztec dancer takes a break from performing at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: A young Aztec drummer learns the ropes at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer talks about Aztec culture at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration. This indigenous group comes from Tenochitlan in Mexico.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec drummers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Legs

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancers

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Girls

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Young Aztec dancers take a break from performing at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Girls

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Young Aztec dancers take a break from performing at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Girls

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Young Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Headdress

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Aztec dancers perform at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Aztec Dancer

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: An Aztec dancer performs at Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

Unity Circle

RANDALL’S ISLAND, MANHATTAN – October 10, 2016: Participants perform a unity circle to close Monday’s Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration.

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