Community celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis

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Monday was filled with events celebrating the history and culture of indigenous people.

For some people, Monday marked the Columbus Day national holiday, but the Native American community is celebrating what they say is a more accurate way to honor our country’s beginnings.

On the streets of south Minneapolis, community members honored a big day for Little Earth.

"I like mostly that people are recognizing that the continent wasn't discovered by Columbus," Rory Wakemup said.

Dozens of people marched about a half mile in the rain to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.

City leaders changed the holiday from what is traditionally Columbus Day over concerns about Columbus' treatment of native people and in an effort to commemorate their culture, history and contributions.

"It’s not just important for indigenous people. It’s important for all the people to know indigenous people and known the cultures and have a relationship with the first people who were here," said Robert Lilligren with the Native American Community Development Institute.

In addition to the march, local artists unveiled a mosaic mural of the community's core values at Little Earth.

Each panel represents one of the seven teachings - love, respect, wisdom, honesty, truth, humility and bravery - some in Ojibwe, others in Dakota to encourage curiosity about both native languages.

"Each teaching has mirror in the middle. I did that intentionally so people can see that in the teaching, so it’s a reflection of themselves in the teaching," said artist Natchez Beaulieu.

Some community members say the nearby Wall of Forgotten Natives homeless camp illustrates the devastating effects of centuries of genocide and forced assimilation. But organizers say it also represents the strength and resilience Indigenous Peoples Day was created to celebrate.

"It took 500 years to mess us up this bad. It may take that long or longer to recover," Wakemup said.

Other events included an indigenous food tasting and a screening of documentary about the pipeline protests at Standing Rock.