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The Lookout | January 22, 2022

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day comes to LCC

Indigenous Peoples’ Day comes to LCC
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  • On September 30, 2021

By Jacob Zokvic
Staff Writer

The LCC Board of Trustees, at its Sept. 20 meeting, passed a resolution to support the recognition of the “Use of Land Acknowledgment,” and to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day at LCC.

The first part of the resolution is a direct acknowledgement by the college that it stands on former Native American land ceded to the United States as part of the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw. 

Board of Trustees Chair Ryan Buck explained the decision. 

“All of our campuses are on land that were part of Indigenous tribes here in this area,” Buck said. “I think it demonstrates a step that the college is making toward diversity, equity and inclusion, and an authentic step in that direction.”

The second part of the resolution was to declare the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The day, which falls on Oct. 11 this year, will be a celebration of the original inhabitants of North America, while bringing awareness to their culture. 

Indigenous Peoples’ Day will replace Columbus Day as a recognized holiday on campus, a decision Buck called “a long time coming.”

This view is shared by some students at LCC, including Arthur Russell.

“It’s about time that a change was made,” Russell said. “It’s great we are now celebrating those that survived that time in history.”

Trustees stated in the board packet they hope that by recognizing and honoring the land LCC resides on, and by establishing Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it can demonstrate intentional dedication to the culture, wisdom, and contributions of Native and Indigenous peoples throughout the Lansing community

Board Trustee Samantha Vaive pointed out that this is just the beginning of a long process. 

“I am hearing from Native students that they are still not really feeling seen,” Vaive said. “I think this was a really big step to make sure they feel more seen.

“We have so far to go. It’s going to be a long, hard road, but I am very happy to see LCC taking these first steps.”