NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 9th, 2023

Two October holidays: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving and Indigenous Peoples Day!

Today, our team at NPI is observ­ing two hol­i­days: Cana­di­an Thanks­giv­ing and Indige­nous Peo­ples Day, both of which fall on the sec­ond Mon­day in October.

Unlike in the Unit­ed States, Cana­di­an Thanks­giv­ing is cel­e­brat­ed clos­er to har­vest time. In its mod­ern incar­na­tion, dat­ing back to 1957, it is cel­e­brat­ed in grate­ful­ness for a boun­ti­ful har­vest. (The Unit­ed States, mean­while, still has a month and a cou­ple weeks to go before its Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day will arrive.)

“Today, as we mark Thanks­giv­ing, Cana­di­ans across the coun­try will gath­er with friends and fam­i­ly to cel­e­brate the abun­dance of har­vest sea­son and send our grat­i­tude to the peo­ple who helped us when we need­ed it most this past year,” said Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau in a statement.

“This year, Cana­di­ans had each other’s backs, like we always do in tough times.”

“As we saw first­hand the increas­ing­ly dis­rup­tive impacts of cli­mate change, from dev­as­tat­ing floods, to hur­ri­canes, to wild­fires, we also saw what we can do when we come togeth­er as a country.”

“Today, we thank the count­less first respon­ders who risked their lives to save oth­ers. We rec­og­nize the kind­ness and self­less­ness of Cana­di­ans who stepped up to take in evac­uees and pro­vide them with food and shelter.”

“Today, we pay trib­ute to these heroes, whose efforts exem­pli­fy the best of what it means to be Cana­di­an. On behalf of the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da, I wish you all a very hap­py Thanksgiving.”

“Today, peo­ple in British Colum­bia and through­out Cana­da will gath­er with fam­i­ly, friends and neigh­bours to cel­e­brate Thanks­giv­ing,” said British Colum­bia Pre­mier David Eby. “This is a time to give thanks for the fall har­vest and the bless­ing of the past year, and a time to give back to our communities.”

“We are for­tu­nate to live in such a beau­ti­ful, peace­ful province where peo­ple are will­ing to step up and help their neigh­bours. This year, that spir­it of ser­vice has been exem­pli­fied by the wild­fire per­son­nel, vol­un­teers and res­i­dents who have sup­port­ed the wild­fire response and recov­ery effort.”

“British Colum­bia is a great place to live, but glob­al infla­tion and high inter­est rates have put a lot of pres­sure on peo­ple here and around the world.

“I want to thank all the com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions that are host­ing Thanks­giv­ing din­ners this week­end, and every­one who has vol­un­teered in a com­mu­ni­ty kitchen or donat­ed to a food bank.”

“Our gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing to address the big chal­lenges peo­ple are fac­ing so every­one can build a good life in B.C. This includes sev­er­al mea­sures to ease the pres­sure of every­day costs, includ­ing a his­toric $200-mil­lion invest­ment to strength­en food sup­ply through­out the province.”

“Today, my fam­i­ly and I will sit down for a meal togeth­er and go around the table to share what we’re grate­ful for. This year, I’m par­tic­u­lar­ly grate­ful for my wife and kids, who have been an end­less source of love and sup­port in my first year as pre­mier, and for the wild­fire per­son­nel who have worked tire­less­ly to pro­tect our province dur­ing our worst wild­fire sea­son on record. Our hearts are with the fam­i­lies of the six B.C. fire­fight­ers who lost their lives this sea­son and every­one who is miss­ing a loved one around the din­ner table this year.”

“Thank you to every­one who is mak­ing B.C. a bet­ter place for oth­ers, and hap­py Thanks­giv­ing to all who are celebrating.”

Thanksgiving bench display

Thanks­giv­ing bench dis­play (Pho­to: Sue Thomp­son, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

Cana­di­an Thanks­giv­ing is not a hol­i­day rec­og­nized by the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment, but that doesn’t mean Amer­i­cans can’t keep it. If you ask us, the only thing bet­ter than Thanks­giv­ing is two Thanks­giv­ings! Every day is a good day to give thanks and enjoy a good meal in the com­pa­ny of fam­i­ly and friends.

Today, we are also cel­e­brat­ing Indige­nous Peo­ples Day, which is rec­og­nized by many juris­dic­tions in the Unit­ed States in place of Colum­bus Day.

Indige­nous Peo­ples Day began in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia, in 1992, to coin­cide with the five hun­dredth anniver­sary of the arrival of Colum­bus in the Amer­i­c­as on Octo­ber 12th, 1492. San­ta Cruz start­ed observ­ing it two years lat­er, and it has since been embraced by com­mu­ni­ties across the Unit­ed States.

In 2021, Indige­nous Peo­ples Day was com­mem­o­rat­ed by the Unit­ed States fed­er­al gov­ern­ment for the first time thanks to the Biden-Har­ris administration.

This is the third con­sec­u­tive year of obser­vance by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment — Pres­i­dent Biden signed a procla­ma­tion mark­ing the day last Friday.

The procla­ma­tion reads:

On Indige­nous Peo­ples’ Day, we hon­or the per­se­ver­ance and courage of Indige­nous peo­ples, show our grat­i­tude for the myr­i­ad con­tri­bu­tions they have made to our world, and renew our com­mit­ment to respect Trib­al sov­er­eign­ty and self-determination.

The sto­ry of America’s Indige­nous peo­ples is a sto­ry of their resilience and sur­vival; of their per­sis­tent com­mit­ment to their right to self-gov­er­nance; and of their deter­mi­na­tion to pre­serve cul­tures, iden­ti­ties, and ways of life.

Long before Euro­pean explor­ers sailed to this con­ti­nent, Native Amer­i­can and Alas­ka Native Nations made this land their home, some for thou­sands of years before the Unit­ed States was found­ed. They built many Nations that cre­at­ed pow­er­ful, pros­per­ous, and diverse cul­tures, and they devel­oped knowl­edge and prac­tices that still ben­e­fit us today.

But through­out our Nation’s his­to­ry, Indige­nous peo­ples have faced vio­lence and dev­as­ta­tion that has test­ed their lim­its. For gen­er­a­tions, it was the shame­ful pol­i­cy of our Nation to remove Indige­nous peo­ples from their home­lands; force them to assim­i­late; and ban them from speak­ing their own lan­guages, pass­ing down ancient tra­di­tions, and per­form­ing sacred ceremonies.

Count­less lives were lost, pre­cious lands were tak­en, and their way of life was for­ev­er changed. In spite of unimag­in­able loss and seem­ing­ly insur­mount­able odds, Indige­nous peo­ples have per­sist­ed.  They sur­vived. And they con­tin­ue to be an inte­gral part of the fab­ric of the Unit­ed States.

Today, Indige­nous peo­ples are a bea­con of resilience, strength, and per­se­ver­ance as well as a source of incred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tions.  Indige­nous peo­ples and Trib­al Nations con­tin­ue to prac­tice their cul­tures, remem­ber their her­itages, and pass down their his­to­ries from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. They stew­ard this country’s lands and waters and grow crops that feed all of us. They serve in the Unit­ed States mil­i­tary at a high­er rate than any oth­er eth­nic group.

They chal­lenge all of us to cel­e­brate the good, con­front the bad, and tell the whole truth of our his­to­ry. And as inno­va­tors, edu­ca­tors, engi­neers, sci­en­tists, artists, and lead­ers in every sec­tor of soci­ety, Indige­nous peo­ples con­tribute to our shared prosperity.

Their diverse cul­tures and com­mu­ni­ties today are a tes­ta­ment to the unshak­able and unbreak­able com­mit­ment of many gen­er­a­tions to pre­serve their cul­tures, iden­ti­ties, and rights to self-gov­er­nance.  That is why, despite cen­turies of dev­as­ta­tion and tur­moil, Trib­al Nations con­tin­ue to thrive and lead in count­less ways.

When I came into office, I was deter­mined to ush­er in a new era in the rela­tion­ship between the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment and Trib­al Nations and to hon­or the solemn promis­es the Unit­ed States made to ful­fill our trust and treaty oblig­a­tions to Trib­al Nations.

That work began by appoint­ing Native Amer­i­cans to lead on the front­lines of my Admin­is­tra­tion — from the first Native Amer­i­can Sec­re­tary of the Inte­ri­or Deb Haa­land and dozens of Sen­ate-con­firmed Native Amer­i­can offi­cials to the over 80 Native Amer­i­can appointees serv­ing across my Admin­is­tra­tion and in the Fed­er­al courts. I restored the White House Coun­cil on Native Amer­i­can Affairs to improve inter­a­gency coor­di­na­tion and deci­sion-mak­ing as well as the White House Trib­al Nations Sum­mit to bring togeth­er key mem­bers of my Admin­is­tra­tion and the lead­ers of hun­dreds of Trib­al Nations.

Last year, I signed a new Pres­i­den­tial Mem­o­ran­dum that cre­ates uni­form stan­dards for con­sul­ta­tion between the Fed­er­al Gov­ern­ment and Trib­al Nations. And togeth­er, we are mak­ing his­toric invest­ments in Indi­an Coun­try. That includes $32 bil­lion from the Amer­i­can Res­cue Plan, the largest one-time direct invest­ment in Indi­an Coun­try in Amer­i­can his­to­ry; more than $13 bil­lion to rebuild infra­struc­ture, the sin­gle largest invest­ment in Indi­an Coun­try infra­struc­ture in his­to­ry; and the biggest invest­ment ever to com­bat the exis­ten­tial threat of cli­mate change, includ­ing $700 mil­lion ded­i­cat­ed to cli­mate change response in Native communities.

We are also work­ing to improve pub­lic health and safe­ty for Native Amer­i­cans. That is why I signed an Exec­u­tive Order that helps us respond more effec­tive­ly to the epi­dem­ic of miss­ing and mur­dered Indige­nous peo­ples. And when we reau­tho­rized the Vio­lence Against Women Act last year, I was proud to include his­toric pro­vi­sions that reaf­firm Trib­al sov­er­eign­ty and restore Trib­al jurisdiction.

I have also request­ed a $9.1 bil­lion infu­sion for Indi­an Health Ser­vices and asked the Con­gress to make that fund­ing a manda­to­ry part of the Fed­er­al bud­get for the first time in our history.

My Admin­is­tra­tion will also con­tin­ue using all the author­i­ty avail­able to it, includ­ing the Antiq­ui­ties Act, to pro­tect sacred Trib­al lands.  We have already restored pro­tec­tions for Bears Ears and Grand Stair­case-Escalante in Utah and the North­east Canyons and Seamounts Nation­al Mon­u­ment in New Eng­land.  I have declared new nation­al mon­u­ments at the Camp Hale-Con­ti­nen­tal Divide in Col­orado, Avi Kwa Ame in Neva­da, and Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni in Ari­zona to pro­tect lands that are sacred to so many Tribes.  My Admin­is­tra­tion has also signed at least 20 new co-stew­ard­ship agree­ments with Tribes, and we are work­ing on many more.

As we cel­e­brate Indige­nous Peo­ples’ Day, may we renew the endur­ing soul of our Nation-to-Nation rela­tion­ships — a spir­it of friend­ship, stew­ard­ship, and respect.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, by virtue of the author­i­ty vest­ed in me by the Con­sti­tu­tion and the laws of the Unit­ed States, do here­by pro­claim Octo­ber 9, 2023, as Indige­nous Peo­ples’ Day.  I call upon the peo­ple of the Unit­ed States to observe this day with appro­pri­ate cer­e­monies and activ­i­ties.  I also direct that the flag of the Unit­ed States be dis­played on all pub­lic build­ings on the appoint­ed day in hon­or of our diverse his­to­ry and the Indige­nous peo­ples who con­tribute to shap­ing this Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have here­un­to set my hand this
sixth day of Octo­ber, in the year of our Lord two thou­sand twen­ty-three, and of the Inde­pen­dence of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca the two hun­dred and forty-eighth.

                             JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

If you are in Seat­tle, there are sev­er­al oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to par­tic­i­pate in Indige­nous Peo­ples Day. Here’s a primer from the City of Seat­tle.

Online flyer for Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 in Seattle

Online fly­er for Indige­nous Peo­ples Day 2023 in Seat­tle (City of Seattle)

At the Wash­ing­ton Tribes web­site, you can learn more about each of the fed­er­al­ly rec­og­nized trib­al com­mu­ni­ties that have called this region home since time immemo­r­i­al. There are more than two dozen:

Wash­ing­ton state is home to twen­ty-nine fed­er­al­ly-rec­og­nized Indi­an tribes. Trib­al gov­ern­ments are improv­ing people’s lives, Indi­an and non-Indi­an alike, in com­mu­ni­ties from Neah Bay to Usk.

Rev­enue from gam­ing and oth­er trib­al enter­pris­es is tax rev­enue for trib­al gov­ern­ments. The mon­ey is used to cre­ate jobs and busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties for all Washingtonians.

It helps pay for hous­ing, health care, pub­lic safe­ty, environmental/natural resource pro­grams and transportation.

As trib­al gam­ing mon­ey flows through the Wash­ing­ton econ­o­my, it gen­er­ates hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in tax rev­enues for local and state gov­ern­ment. Trib­al gov­ern­ments and their enter­pris­es are a major fac­tor in Washington’s econ­o­my today – gen­er­at­ing more than 30,000 jobs and invest­ing bil­lions of dol­lars in goods and ser­vices, and on cap­i­tal projects.

View a map of Washington’s fed­er­al­ly rec­og­nized tribes:

Washington's federally recognized tribes

Each mark­er on the map above shows the loca­tion of a fed­er­al­ly rec­og­nized trib­al com­mu­ni­ty in Wash­ing­ton State (Cour­tesy of Wash­ing­ton Tribes)

Again, Hap­py Thanks­giv­ing and Indige­nous Peo­ples Day!

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One Comment

  1. Too many Cana­di­ans have to choose between which neces­si­ties they can afford: nutri­tious food or shelter?

    Mean­time, the more that giant-gro­cer cor­po­ra­tions and cor­po­rate offi­cers make, all the more they irre­sistibly want to and like­ly will make next quar­ter. It’s nev­er enough.

    We also see this notably appalling real­i­ty through the pro­lif­er­at­ing over-reliance on food banks. Unmet food needs that are exac­er­bat­ed by unre­lent­ing food-price infla­tion, while cor­po­rate prof­its and pay­outs to CEOs cor­re­spond­ing­ly inflate.

    # by Frank Sterle Jr. :: October 9th, 2023 at 3:52 PM

One Ping

  1. […] Long before Euro­pean explor­ers sailed to this con­ti­nent, Native Amer­i­can and Alas­ka Native Nations made this land their home, Read the full arti­cle here […]

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