On the eve of International Human Rights Day, December 2, 2014, Pittsburgh's City Council of Pittsburgh passed a Will of the Council “recognizing the 12th of October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in order to promote tolerance, understanding and friendship, and to overcome prejudice and eliminate discrimination stemming from colonization.” The measure indicates Council support for the inclusion of “the teaching of Indigenous peoples’ history as recommended by Indigenous communities in our public schools.” This decision encourages “truth-telling” about our history, an important first step in the process of confronting and acknowledging the genocidal impacts of European colonization on native peoples. It is essential to promoting healing and to realizing a culture of human rights.

The Human Rights City Alliance is establishing a task force to organize activities to enhance public understandings of Indigenous peoples’ histories and traditions, and to educate about the realities of colonialism, racism and genocide and their long-term impacts on Indigenous communities and other groups. If you'd like to join the Indigenous Peoples Day task force, contact us at pghrights[at]riseup.net


Background on Indigenous Peoples Day
Wikipedia Article on Indigenous Peoples Day

Pittsburgh Stories
"Walk in Two Worlds: Native American Pittsburgh" by William Severini Kowinski
This is a slightly longer version of an article that appeared in the Pittsburgh City Paper, a free weekly, in the fall of 1992. The 500th year after Columbus turned out to be a good year for raising awareness of Native Americans. It was especially interesting to me that western Pennsylvania had been a crossroads for several Indian peoples, and they had played a large part in the history of the state after white settlement began. For awhile the Pittsburgh area was the frontier, and the kind of conflicts that occurred in the late 19th century in the west happened there some two hundred years earlier.

Indigenous Peoples Day around the Country**


Resources
From Latin America to Asia: Learning from our roots, A conversation on Vivir Bien. by Focus on the Global South
  • "Vivir Bien is a Spanish word that refers to the way of life of indigenous peoples in South America....Many of the underlying principles of “Vivir Bien” can be found in indigenous cultures all over the world." The concept of buen vivir is seen as a key to helping us find alternatives to our current system, which is in crisis due to its unsustainable exploitation of the Earth and the people who live here.

Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt This graphic novel shows parallels between the struggles of native Americans, low-income people and people of color resisting displacement by urban 'development', and those fighting mountaintop removal in coal-mining regions.