For an increasing number of communities around the United States, October 12th is Indigenous Peoples’ Day—a holiday dedicated to highlighting the cultures and suppressed histories of indigenous peoples. This holiday emerged in an explicit challenge to the narratives that undergird Columbus Day—the federal holiday on the same date used to celebrate Christopher Columbus’ purported “discovery of America.” Columbus is among the historical figures denounced this year as a growing movement continues to surface the interconnected legacies of racism and colonialism in the United States. However, indigenous peoples have been calling for a reexamination of how we narrate our nation’s founding for decades through efforts including the campaign for an Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
As we approach the end of Women’s History Month, our mediascape has featured an array of stories—contemporary and historical—about women making history across the United States. But what about stories that are often not told?
Less reported are the experiences of Native American women whose stories remain relegated to the periphery. Underrepresented in national media coverage and often hidden from view on Indian Reservations, Native American women face unique assaults on their rights that are impossible to understand without examining the continuing violence perpetrated on Native Americans as a whole.