For more than half a century in the United States, the second Monday in October has marked Columbus Day, a federal holiday recognizing the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. After a broad reexamination of Columbus’ legacy — and a proclamation from the White House — many states now recognize the occasion as Indigenous Peoples Day.
On Monday, Northeastern will recognize Indigenous Peoples Day with a panel presentation and discussion featuring members of the university’s Native American community. This year’s theme will be “Indigenous Community, Scholarship and Research.” The virtual event will take place from noon to 1 p.m. ET, or 9-10 a.m. PT. Ellen Cushman, the dean’s professor of civic sustainability and English in Northeastern’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, will take part in discussions.
A rhetoric and literary scholar, Cushman has spent years researching the Cherokee language and Cherokee identity — a journey rooted in her own experience in becoming a tribal citizen. She heads up the university’s Digital Archive of Indigenous Language Persistence, a project that aims to preserve ancient Native languages.