LAWRENCE (KSNT) – Across the country, people are celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day.
The holiday emerged decades ago to recognize the devastating impact colonization had on native people, and to celebrate their resilience. President Joe Biden first proclaimed Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2021, but it is still not seen as a federal holiday.
In Lawrence, the University of Kansas and native community have put up a tipi on the lawn of Strong Hall. State Representative Christina Haswood joined students and faculty to watch the tipi being raised.
“What indigenous people really want to do is celebrate resiliency, celebrate surviving the genocide attacks within our country, but also celebrating our culture,” Haswood said.
A bill was introduced by state representatives two years ago to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a public holiday in Kansas, but it hasn’t progressed.
“Especially with our state being Kansas that was originally the name of the Kaw people, and the indigenous lands here of the indigenous people of Kansas, I think that’s the least we can do on the state level,” said Haswood.