Indigenous People’s Day will be recognized at Cal Poly Monday, Oct. 9, honoring the indigenous peoples who lived in the region when Columbus landed in the Caribbean Islands and Central America.
This is the first year that Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) collaborated with the American Indian Student Association (AISA) and Movimento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (MEXA) to put on this event.
“We want to bring to light the tangible history, and celebrate a beautiful culture that was thriving long before Columbus landed,” ASI Secretary of Inclusivity and Diversity and agricultural business senior Nimrah Aslam wrote in an email.
Several events will take place in the University Union Plaza on Indigenous People’s Day from 5-7 p.m. A Chumash tribe member will start the evening with a traditional prayer and blessing, according to AISA President and computer engineering junior Amber Jaitrong.
Northern YTT Chumash tribe chair Mona Tucker, ethnic studies professor Jenell Navarro and ASI President Riley Nilsen will give speeches on the day’s importance. An Aztec dance group will also perform, and MEXA will provide food during the festivities.
Additionally, the Inter Housing Council (IHC) will explain the relevance of the new dorm name “yakʔityutyu” and why students should respect the title of this residence hall.
“I hope [the event] will show any native or indigenous students that they’re welcome here, and they have a place on campus,” Jaitrong said.
The greater city of San Luis Obispo will also be joining major cities across the United States in recognizing Indigenous People’s Day.