Today is Indigenous People’s Day and the Norman community has come together on what is formerly known as Columbus Day.
Today marks Norman’s second annual Indigenous People’s Day, and crowds have gathered on OU’s campus to celebrate a day of culture.
The festivities began today with an opening ceremony and march, which then turned into stickball and dancing. Among the participants were Mr. and Miss Indian OU for this academic year.
“It’s very exciting to be able to spend this time with our friends, other students, friends of mine, faculty & staff and to just be able to kinda share in this time of celebrating what this land and what this university means to us,” says Taylor Chiariello, Mr. Indian OU.
The event gives Native American members of the community a chance to express themselves through culture and unity on a day previously marked by a celebration of Christopher Columbus.
“We are so thankful to be able to come out here and just join as one for this day, and we do throughout the year as well, but for this day especially just to be able to join together and really celebrate, you know, what where we are going, where we have been, where we are going, and where we’re at right now just getting our education and things like that,” says Chiariello.
“Today is not about somebody who supposedly discovered a nation that was already inhabited, today is about celebrating who we are as indigenous people, who we will become as indigenous people and to remember those who have walked this earth before us and have allowed us to stand here to fight this fight.”