Dear BFY Community,
On October 8th, President Biden issued a proclamation proclaiming today – October 11, 2021 – Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
An excerpt from the proclamation: “Our country was conceived on a promise of equality and opportunity for all people — a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made through the years, we have never fully lived up to. That is especially true when it comes to upholding the rights and dignity of the Indigenous people who were here long before colonization of the Americas began. For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.”
If you are interested in learning more about which cities and states formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day click here.
In unity with our staff who are Indigenous, beginning 2022 (and annually moving forward), The Bridge for Youth will recognize the second Monday of October (the date traditionally recognized as “Columbus Day”) as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a paid holiday in honor and celebration of our staff, youth, board, and community who are Indigenous. Furthermore, The Bridge will partner with community, board, and staff leaders to explore a formal land acknowledgement at The Bridge for Youth in 2022 per the recommendations provided by the Native Governance Center.
The Bridge for Youth encourages you to learn about the native land you stand, live, and work on, visit this interactive map developed by Native Land Digital, a Canadian nonprofit with this to say: “We aim to improve the relationship of people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, with the land around them and with the real history and sacredness of that land. This involves acknowledging and righting the wrongs of history, and also involves a personal journey through the importance of connecting with the earth, its creatures, and its teachings.”
To our youth, staff, board members, and partners who are Indigenous: The Bridge for Youth celebrates and honors you this and every day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful culture, wisdom, knowledge, humility, and harmony with us. We are stronger and richer with you as our partners and as our community.
Lisa Mears, MPA (she/her/hers)