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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Park

New ways to show appreciation towards the holiday
Recognizing+Indigenous+Peoples%E2%80%99+Day+at+Park

Park is in need of new ways to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The state of Minnesota federally recognizes 11 Native American tribes, so surely Park could do more than just a land acknowledgement announcement on Wednesdays. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day is the perfect opportunity to further educate students about the Native American experience and influence. Instead of not making a collective effort to recognize this important day, Park could do a day of watching Native American films. A film day would be an engaging experience for students. Classes could watch films on Native Americans and movies made by Native American directors. I believe that students will look forward to this type of lesson. These films do not have to focus solely on the struggles that Native Americans face, they could also focus on the triumphs and successes achieved by Indigenous people. A film day would give students a chance to learn visually in place of simply reading textbooks. 

Another way to appreciate Native American heritage is to plant native plants. Gardening is a way to further connect to the land we live on. The connection to land and other life on Earth is a big part of indigenous culture. Native plants help the ecosystem and sustain their life in Minnesota. Insects feed off plants, which in turn provides birds with a food source with plenty of energy, making it possible for them to migrate in the fall. 

On the week of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Park could host a school dance and part of the proceeds generated from the dance could be donated to a foundation that supports the Native American community in Minnesota. The dance itself could have a dedicated name that shows appreciation toward Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Students would associate this dance with showing support for an important cause, and the dance provides leadership opportunities for students. 

I think there is a lack of understanding at Park about how Indigenous Peoples’ Days came to be. There should be more lessons teaching about the sacrifices Indigenous people had to make to get this holiday recognized and really why it is so important. There are also current issues, such as the kidnapping of Indigenous women and petroleum pollution, that are currently affecting Native communities that Park does not teach much about. Understanding the struggles that Native Americans go through in this country is essential to understanding the roots of how Minnesota came to be. 

Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in more ways than just a land acknowledgment announcement is key to making students understand the importance of the holiday. These forms of acknowledgement are not only engaging, but also give students an opportunity to learn how to give back.

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About the Contributor
Lucia Versalles, Echo Staffer
Hey, my name is Lucia Versalles and I am a sophomore. When I'm not in school I love playing soccer ⚽, hanging out with friends 💕and of course going to Starbucks ⭐ as much as possible. This is my first year on echo and I am so happy to be a part of this talented group!

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