The calendar read Columbus Day, but the Native-American Student Union chose to mark the date in a different way — holding “Indigenous Solidarity Day” in the Erb Memorial Union amphitheater to honor indigenous people of Oregon.
Indigenous Solidarity Day has been celebrated on campus for several years, and NASU co-director Mary Johnson said turnout at the event increases every year.
“More people are wanting to get involved with Indigenous Solidarity Day,” Johnson said.
NASU started by replacing the flags around the EMU amphitheater that memorialize the consolidated tribes of Oregon. After that, speakers and performers presented throughout the rest of the day.
“It’s important to celebrate indigenous people of this land,” Eva Murtaugh, another NASU co-director, said.
The Chinook Indian Nation from the mouth of the Columbia River also conducted a “Fun Dance Song” to celebrate the day.
Khahlela Reif, a junior UO student, said she loved the event last year, which made her more inclined to attend again. From her perspective, this is a day to educate people on what truly happened before Columbus arrived.
“There’s a lot of misinformation on how many people were here with homes and families before this person came,” Reif said.
The NASU, which strives to educate more people on issues pertinent to indigenous people, meets every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Many Nations Longhouse.