UMBC was established upon the land of the Piscataway and Susquehannock peoples. Over time, citizens of many more Indigenous nations have come to reside in this region. We humbly offer our respect to all past, present, and future Indigenous people connected to this place.
We cannot celebrate, with earnesty, America or any form of patriotism without an overt acknowledgement of our predecessors. Formerly recognized as Columbus day, we now celebrate all Indigenous peoples in lieu, not only as an act of honor but also as recognition of their struggles of grave injustice. Upon decades of protesting and rises of civil movements against overt mistreatment and racial inequity (like the historically deemed Red Power movement) to Berkeley’s acknowledgement of such with its first institution of what we know today to be “Indigenous Peoples” day in reverence, some righteous steps have been taken towards reshaping American history. However, we, as a nation, still have a long way to go for proper restitution. Indigenous reservations continue to face overcrowding, poverty, loss of languages, and lack of education (to name a few). Thus, on this day, we must become wary of these issues, and push forth both legislative and social changes.
No longer will we celebrate colonialism or histories of mass genocide. Rather, we will commemorate the Indigenous community wholly, along with their greatly diverse cultures. The UMBC SGA aims to give voice to those who have faced historical, unfortunate hostilities. This day is especially of grand importance to us, and we will strive to uplift and venerate the Indigenous community in any way possible.
For ways to properly honor the day, along with ways to help, you may want to visit the Partnership with Native Americans website. In relation, it may be worthwhile to visit UMBC’s land acknowledgment in order to get a better grasp on our own local history!
Yours in service,
The UMBC Student Government Association
Mehrshad Fahim Devin, SGA President
Joshua Gray, SGA Executive Vice President
Nailah-Bena Chambers, Vice President for Student Organizations
Ayah Aligabi, Treasurer