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Indigenous People’s Day Interview


Here’s a brief interview from last year’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day with Jennifer Marley, a citizen of San Ildefonso Pueblo and a member of the grassroots Indigenous liberation organization The Red Nation, which helped lead a campaign in 2015 to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Marley slams President Biden’s formal recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a federal holiday and discusses how Native lands are disproportionately used for resource extraction and how The Red Nation connects their local struggles to international decolonization campaigns, as well.

Quick question, February is Black History Month in the US. March is Women’s History Month. Which month is Indigenous Peoples’ History month? That’s a trick question, there is no such thing.  Last year the White House declared November National Native American Heritage Month, 2021. I think Thanksgiving got more press.

After living in what is now the US for around 10,000 years, indigenous peoples were victims of the genocides,  ethnic cleansings, and resettlements that led to the US as we know it today. There were also forced adoptions and cultural erasure, and demonization in popular culture of the 20th century. In my opinion, that’s been largely swept under the rug of American history. The bad treatment by the US government, the breaking of treaties, withholding of moneys owed, disenfranchisement, and deprivations on reservations are ongoing legacies.

What do you think of this interview, and the ideas that Ms. Marley speaks of? Had you heard of the Red New Deal? (We don’t hear much of the Green New Deal either, or FDR’s original New Deal, for that matter. Again, swept under the rug.)


  1. Kawthar

    I think this interview is important because we need to educate ourselves about other communities. Indigenous people are as important as our own community. If America or the president aren’t supporting this community there will be a time where our own community is not being supported or recognized.  Showing respect and effort to other people will bring back the same respect and effort to you. I didn’t know much about the Red Nation or been educated enough about indigenous people but I see that they are being treated unfairly and unsupported. I agree with Marley that making indigenous people’s day the same day as Columous day is ironic. When I first knew that these two things are the same day I realized how indigenous people are not getting the respect they need. I think they should have their own day or even month because they are humans that need to be respected and recognized enough. If Black history, Women, and even Pride have a month to celebrate I think indigenous, Arab, Asian and other communities should have a month as well. 

  2. Josue Giron

    The interview is educational and shows why Indigenous people are as important, and why they deserve a day of their own. The interview brings to life the importance of recognizing indigenous people day, recognizing a community that is almost not relevant in this country. The interview also talks about the Red Nation, something I am completely unaware of. I don’t think I ever heard about this, but I had an Idea of what is could of be, and that is a group of people in charge of natives protecting their land, or at least something along those lines.

  3. Shivam Patel

    I think that the interview helps give a community not usually talked about and acts as a platform for them to be able to spread their message without it being altered for a specific audience. I didn’t even know what land back was as topics regarding indigenous people aren’t brought to the forefront in the media. It’s an interesting idea putting land back into the hands of the people who originally lived on that land. Those lands would be cherished and cared for because in America we have too much land to the point we take it for granted, 41% of the land in the US is used to raise livestock which is really not efficient. 

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