Indigenous Peoples' Day

Monday, October 9, 2017


Several weeks ago Charlottesville City Council formally changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples' Day!  

Indigenous Peoples' Day is a holiday celebrated in many U.S. cities to honor and acknowledge the past and continuous presence of Native people in the Americas. It began before 1992 as a protest of Columbus Day, with Native groups contending that Columbus did not “discover” them—they were already here—and that the actions of Columbus and his men were not only less than heroic toward their ancestors, but that they committed genocide while invading and stealing their land. At least fifty cities and municipalities are now celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day rather than Columbus Day.  

Ways to Celebrate


Learn About Australian Indigenous Art and Culture
Monday, October 9, lunchtime tour and discussion at 12 pm, Kluge-Ruhe Collection

Kluge-Ruhe is usually closed on Mondays, but we will be open on Indigenous Peoples Day! Come visit the museum on your own or bring a lunch and join for a discussion.

Celebrate at the City Council Meeting
Monday, October 9, 7:00 pm, Charlottesville City Hall

Charlottesville City Council will officially present the proclamation of Indigenous Peoples Day to Monacan tribal elder Karenne Wood. Don't miss this historic moment for local Indigenous people in our city.

Acknowledge Monacan People
 October 9 and year-round

It is a common practice in Australia to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land at the beginning of any occasion or program. Are you in a position of regularly holding public events or hosting them? Consider beginning every event with a brief acknowledgment of the Monacan nation. It is a way of showing awareness and respect for the Indigenous custodians of the land and may be delivered by a non-Indigenous person. Here are scripts written by Monacan tribal leader Karenne Wood and Kluge-Ruhe for you to use:    

“Please join me in acknowledging and paying respect to the traditional custodians of the land we are on today, the Monacan people.”


“We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are on today, the Monacan Nation, and pay our respect to their elders past and present.”

If you begin doing this, please let us know! We would like to keep track of individuals and organizations who are choosing to honor Indigenous people in this way.