Letter: What needs to be done after Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Published: 10/24/2021 7:00:38 AM

I’m writing in response to the article “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” (Monitor, 10/13) Last Monday, many people across New Hampshire likely re-posted a picture or an article on social media to show their support to Indigenous peoples and to prove to their white peers that they are allies to the community. Although this is certainly a step forward from recognizing the day as Columbus Day, this cannot be where our advocacy ends.

The history of Indigenous peoples in this country since Europeans stole their land in the late 15th century has been a history of loss, genocide and erasure. Data and analytics regarding the number of Indigenous peoples in the Americas lost to genocide is unclear because of a lack of data collection until recently. Researchers estimate between 8 and 75 million Indigenous people were killed in the genocide. Firm policies within local, state and federal governments must be put in place to redress our past actions and inactions through active measures and reparations to ensure equity for Indigenous peoples across the country. This article highlights the need for white people to work in collaboration with Indigenous people in their area so we can learn how to be less intrusive of their land and equip them with the tools and resources they need to be successful. This is one step in righting the wrongs that white Americans have inflicted upon Indigenous peoples for centuries.

Catherine Ahnen

Bedford


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