I am sitting here forming my thoughts and words into this blog about “Indigenous People’s Day” now the dictionary defines indigenous as “adjective, originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.” As I sit here doing “research” on what it means to be indigenous, I begin to think “Penny, are you kidding yourself?” You are fit to answer this question, I am Native American, I am a woman; a mother of Native American sons, and finally, I am indigenous!!!
Let’s start at the beginning of what I “discovered” about “Columbus Day,” which on the second Monday in October, was first proclaimed a holiday back in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to celebrate the Italian explorer who “discovered” North American in 1492. However, this “discovery” brought many traumatic events to the indigenous people of North American such as French and Indian War, Trail of Tears, and Wounded Knee Massacre.
Recently many states and cities nationwide are starting to replace “Columbus Day” with “IndigenousPeople’s Day” to celebrate the acknowledgment of Native Americans across the United States. If you ask any indigenous person, “what do you think of Columbus?” many responses would be “COLUMBUS DID NOT” or “Native American discovered Columbus lost at sea.” So for me being indigenous means identifying and belonging to my ancestors of 14 Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, being traditional, and teaching my children how to fish, hunt, and gather traditional foods on what little lands we own today.
I am proud to be an indigenous person!
President Penny Tahmalwash
Yakima Student Council
Join us for a chat with Penny as she shares her Fry Bread Recipe
Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day with a Fry Bread Demonstration and talk with our own Yakima Student Council President Penny Tahmalwash. Penny will take participants through the process of making native fry bread while sharing information about Indigenous People’s Day and what it means to be part of the Yakama Nation Tribe. The event takes place Monday, October 12 from 4-5 pm.
Penny’s Fry Bread Recipe