Celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Dear Members of the Kent State University Community,
President Joe Biden, on Friday, became the first U.S. president to issue a proclamation commemorating today as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Today, on what traditionally has been the Columbus Day federal holiday, we want to echo our president’s sentiments, and on behalf of the Kent State community formally recognize the many contributions that indigenous peoples have made throughout the history of our country, the state of Ohio and our university community.
While we all are proud to be citizens of this great country, we understand that our history is a painful and complicated story of the clash of cultures and the sacrifice of our native people.
We celebrate the legacy of our indigenous people and the ways in which their culture remains a living and vibrant thread in the fabric of our nation – people such as Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, whose work will be celebrated at the Kent Student Center Kiva at 7 p.m. Tuesday as a kickoff event for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read Northeast Ohio. We encourage everyone in our community to take part in this event to experience and celebrate the contributions of Native Americans.
The painful conquests of our past cannot be changed, but we can all commit to a future of unity, with equity and dignity for all Americans.
Amoaba Gooden, Ph.D.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion