All the ridiculousness you point out and more is precisely the reason I’m proud of institutions like the University of Montana and the individuals such as Royce Engstrom for taking a stand officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day as long overdue replacement!
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Royce C. Engstrom, President
As you may know, there has been a concerted effort around the campus to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day as an alternative to the federally recognized Columbus Day holiday. A measure endorsing a change to the University calendar was approved by the faculty, staff and student senates.
The University does not have the authority to change the name of Columbus Day. That power is reserved for the Montana Legislature. However, we at UM whole-heartedly embrace the opportunity to recognize and commemorate the contributions of Native people.
Therefore, Monday, Oct. 10, will be observed as Indigenous Peoples Day at the University of Montana. Events will continue Tuesday and Wednesday. I encourage everyone to participate in activities that provide education about indigenous people and a celebration of these cultures. Please plan to participate in the activities.
Perhaps steps like these will lead other institutions and individuals to feel empowered to do the same.