On Monday, October 11, Peninsula College will join with communities and individuals across the nation to mark Indigenous Peoples Day. This day provides an opportunity to recognize native peoples here in the United States and across the globe, and celebrates their unique cultures and contributions to our collective humanity. Equally important, it provides us an opportunity to stand in solidarity with indigenous peoples, and to recognize and grapple with the ongoing effects of racism and attempted cultural erasure on indigenous communities everywhere. Pacific Northwest history is filled with treaties routinely violated, forced removal of indigenous children to boarding schools, and a systematic attempt to erase native cultures and traditions through forced assimilation.
As noted in an earlier campus message, despite the endless project of destruction and erasure inflicted on Indigenous cultures, there are 6.79 million Native Americans from approximately 574 federally recognized Native American tribes currently living in the United States alone. Despite attempts to extinguish traditional cultural practices and languages, these traditions and languages endure. As exemplified by the leadership and contributions of the tribes the College serves - the Hoh, Quileute, Makah, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam and Lower Elwha Klallam tribes - Native nations continue to successfully resist economic and cultural inequity and oppression.
As we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, I encourage you to learn more about the sovereign indigenous nations on the North Olympic Peninsula and throughout the country. A great way to engage in this journey is to take advantage of cultural and educational opportunities coming up next week:
Oct 11— 7:00 pm, Zoom
Magic of Cinema, Studium Generale, ʔaʔk̓ʷustəƞáwt̓xʷ House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse, and The Native Poets Group will join The North Olympic Library System (NOLS) in a Native/Indigenous Poetry Slam, 7:00 pm-- All are welcome to listen through Zoom as Native poets present their works.
To learn more about the reading, please visit the North Olympic Library System’s website at: https://www.nols.org/indigenous-peoples-day-poetry-slam/
Oct 12-14, Zoom
Magic of Cinema will screen Island Road, a film that confronts the reality of the global climate emergency with powerful and personal stories. The movie centers around an Indigenous community in southern Louisiana where the climate crisis is urgent and every day, and individuals are being displaced from their homes. As the film’s website states, the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe “has resided on the Isle de Jean Charles for seven or eight generations, since the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced them from their ancestral home. However due to coastal erosion, the Isle de Jean Charles has been disappearing . . . Dredging of canals in the Gulf of Mexico by oil companies, levee engineering in the Mississippi Delta, rising sea levels, and more frequent and powerful hurricanes precipitated by climate change are the leading causes of this transformation.”
Through intimate and quiet interviews, the stories and voices of Tribal members are highlighted; interviewees describe their relationship to the disappearing land, their concerns around food sources, and their families’ and communities’ histories, current struggles and joys, and uncertain futures.
There will be three, free screenings of the film, which has a runtime of 73 minutes.
Tuesday, Oct 12 at 6:30 pm
Wednesday, Oct 13 at 12:30 pm
Thursday, Oct 14 at 2:00 pm
Join the screenings at https://pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/81727615841, Meeting ID: 817 2761 5841.
Oct 14, 12:30 pm, Zoom
Magic of Cinema, Studium Generale, ʔaʔk̓ʷustəƞáwt̓xʷ House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse, welcome individuals from the Natural Resources Department, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe to discuss Native/Indigenous efficacy and leadership in climate change awareness and mitigation.
The event is free and open to the public, beginning at 12:30 pm on Zoom. Join Zoom meeting at https://pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/82027861421, Meeting ID: 820 2786 1421
Peninsula College recognizes and honors these traditional nəxʷsƛ̕ay̕əm lands. The first longhouse built on a community college campus, ʔaʔk̓ʷustəƞáwt̓xʷ was named in the nəxʷsƛ̕ay̕əm language and is a gathering place to teach, learn, and share cultural traditions, knowledge, and identity.
Peninsula College President