Indigenous Peoples Day 2017 reaches 25th year

October 9, 2017 by  

The Indigenous Peoples Day Committee is once again organizing a free event to celebrate Native American Indian culture in partnership with the city of Berkeley.

Attendees can enjoy Native American arts, crafts, and food as well as a ‘Prettiest Shawl’ contest sponsored by Leslie Deer and Family to pay tribute to the late Millie Ketcheshawno. A film producer and writer, Ketcheshawno, who died in 2000, was instrumental in the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island.

The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously in 1991 that henceforth the city would recognize Columbus Day, as a ‘Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People’. The first Berkeley celebration was held the following year on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the New World.

That first event was marked by ceremonies, parades, speeches, and exhibits. The second year’s celebration featured the inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Powwow and Indian Market, which would become a part of any annual Berkeley flyer or poster printing used to advertise the event for the next 25 years.

This year in the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park an all-day Indian market and powwow will take place on October 14. A dance exhibition containing Aztec and Native California dancers will start the event off at 10:00 am. At noon the Grand Entry will take begin and from 12:30 pm to 6:00 pm contest dancing, a giveaway and intertribal dancing and honor songs will take place.