Kent State recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day, announces National Endowment for the Arts kickoff event

The office of Kent State President Todd Diacon formally recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day in a university-wide announcement Monday.

The recognition came after President Joe Biden’s Friday proclamation observing what was originally Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, making him the first U.S. president to do so. The university echoed Biden’s sentiments and moved to formally recognize the holiday and the history of indigenous people in the United States.

While we all are proud to be citizens of this great country, we understand that our history is a painful and complicated story of the clash of cultures and the sacrifice of our native people,” the announcement stated.

The university will highlight the work of Joy Harjo, the first Native American U.S Poet Laureate, in the Kent Student Student Center Kiva at 7 p.m. Tuesday October 12. This event will serve as a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the kickoff event for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read Northeast Ohio

We encourage everyone in our community to take part in this event to experience and celebrate the contributions of Native Americans,” the announcement stated. “The painful conquests of our past cannot be changed, but we can all commit to a future of unity, with equity and dignity for all Americans.”

Annie Zwisler is managing editor. Contact her at [email protected]