Central Oregon Daily▶️ COCC celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with bead-making workshop, lecture

▶️ COCC celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with bead-making workshop, lecture

▶️ COCC celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day with bead-making workshop, lecture

▶️ COCC celebrates Indigenous People’s Day with lecture, bead-making workshop

Monday October 9 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a time to celebrate and honor the diverse cultures and traditions of indigenous people across the country.

Central Oregon Community College organized a pair of events for the holiday. It began with a lecture from Gabriann Hall about the strength and resilience of native people.

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“There’s a misperception that, you know, natives have been completely either assimilated or eliminated, and we haven’t been either of those things,” said Hall, and Adjunct Instructor of Anthropology in the World Languages Department.

She said education is the most powerful tool.

“To be able to kind of flip that narrative and show the traumatic and dramatic history of native peoples, it gives you a better understanding of how strong we have been to endure those things,” Hall said.

Geneva Mayall, the Native American College Prep Coordinator in the Diversity and Inclusion Department, organized a bead-making workshop. Students could learn the art’s technique and take home a beaded rope of their own.

She believes support through these events helps native people better identify with the date on the calendar. As it used to be more widely celebrated as Columbus Day.

“It’s important to take back this day as well, because, you know, this used to be a different holiday,” she said. “So it means a lot that we can actually honor this, as Indigenous People’s Day.”

To her, Monday’s celebration helps pass on support and positivity to the next generation.

“I always am thinking about what’s going to set up the next generation to feel safe and welcome,” she said. “It makes me feel really good to see the community build as these events continue each year.”

Hall hopes that these celebration helps create more allies for the native community.

“More and more people are interested in learning that history, and that’s what I found through doing these presentations,” she said. “Then they take the initiative to start to learn, which is great.”

COCC formally recognized the holiday in 2021 and have held annual celebrations since.

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