A Proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2021
OCTOBER 8, 2021 • PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS
I, Katrina S. Rogers, President of Fielding Graduate University, proclaim October 11, 2021, as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
For Fielding, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is more than an alternative to marking the colonization of the Americas and the perpetration of genocide. Rather, this inaugural day of recognition is meant to honor and celebrate the long history and rich culture of the people living in the Americas both before and after Columbus’ arrival.
As a global community of scholars, learners, and practitioners, we want this day—now and in the future—to remind us that truth-seeking is the university’s highest priority. We’ve begun the important journey, recognizing the survival, resistance, persistence, and contemporary experience of Indigenous peoples around the world, which has never been more vital—or urgent.
Indigenous people are not relics of the past, they are still here. Many continue to hold on to the wisdom of oneness that can help prevent human extinction. Indigenous Peoples’ Day will also remind us of this wisdom. In recent years, it has prompted us to act. Beginning with the Navajo Nation, Fielding is supporting these ideals by cultivating meaningful academic partnerships that will impact generations, through storytelling, and by celebrating the enduring traditions, languages, governments, and histories of Navajo students and faculty. It is only the beginning of our journey of inclusion and education as an institution of higher learning—and a society.
Similarly, that wisdom of oneness serves to inspire our support for Indigenous sovereignty and the protection of ancestral homelands based on traditional place-based knowledge. Today, we begin with this first step. As Fielding faculty, students, staff, and alumni, we would like to acknowledge with respect the Chumash Nation whose ancestors occupied present-day Santa Barbara, California, Fielding’s headquarters. The Chumash tribes and bands, a California Indigenous Nation, lived in the coastal, island, and mountainous regions that also included present-day San Luis Obispo, Ventura, Malibu, and The Channel Islands.
BE IT RESOLVED, Fielding Graduate University shall recognize every second Monday in October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to honor and celebrate the tremendous contributions, persistence, and many sacrifices made by Indigenous People and tribes throughout our vibrant academic community, and around the world.
Katrina S. Rogers