Indigenous Peoples Day

Mayor Schneider is going to make a formal Proclamation on Sunday Oct. 8th naming the second Monday of October (Oct 9th this year) as Indigenous Peoples Day in Santa Barbara. She will give this proclamation at an hour long celebration at the Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara St on that day (Sunday October 8th) from 12:30 – 1:30pm. Please show your support by attending and joining in the celebration and conversation of reconciliation.

The relationship of indigenous and non-indigenous in our country is in deep need of healing right now. We need to act with integrity and sincerity if there is ever going to be any chance of that happening. Both the government and our society must provide our indigenous communities with the respect they deserve. The time is NOW. This historical trauma dates back more than 500 years and it has plagued all of us for long enough.

We have approximately 550 Native American tribes in our country. Prior to the arrival of Columbus in the West Indies in 1492—the event which triggered mass genocide, confiscation of land and the conscious destruction of their culture—Indigenous Peoples had been living sustainably on their ancestral lands for over ten thousand years.

The “Doctrine of Discovery” was the 1493 document issued by the Pope that permitted these atrocities. It said that any person living on land who was not a white male Christian was not considered a person—but rather an ignorant savage who did not have the right to own land. Therefore the land was available to be “discovered and taken” by the colonists.

By changing Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day, we acknowledge the true historical legacy of colonization, genocide and enslavement of Native peoples and we begin the process of reconciliation to heal the historical trauma that affects us all and the land we are a part of.

Barbara Savage
Tribal Trust Foundation