Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Dawson Community College

Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Dawson Community College

Monday, Oct 10, 2022


On Monday, Oct 10th, Dawson Community College will host its 3rd annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day. At its core, Indigenous Peoples’ Day aims to celebrate and honor the past, present, and futures of Native peoples throughout the United States. Yet, it's important to not diminish the long-term effect colonization has had on Native Americans.


Indigenous Peoples’ Day at DCC has something for everyone. The highlight will be the evening session which begins at 6:30pm when DCC's President Justin Villmer will present a Land Acknowledgement plaque. A Land Acknowledgment is a formal statement that recognizes and respects Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of the land. DCC will take this one step further to provide a plaque which will be displayed in the Main Building on campus. This plaque will act as an expression of gratitude and give appropriate appreciation to the tribes whose land the DCC campus now resides on. 


"Indigenous Peoples' Day is a great opportunity to recognize the Native American population within our community. We have a diverse collection of Native American tribes represented on our campus and we hope to celebrate their unique cultures, backgrounds, and traditions throughout the day while also providing a platform for our students to share more about their culture and families," said Peyton Koivu, co-coordinator.


Throughout the day, come and stroll through the Main Building hallway to check out the historic Native American artifacts dating back to the late 1800s, watch a Pow Wow video, look through a variety of Native American books, or learn more about the Missing and Murdered Indignious Persons (MMIP) epidemic at the Red Dress Display by Glendive Zonta. Children will enjoy story and craft time at 10am in the DCC Library which is presented by The Nurturing Tree.


DCC is excited to welcome back Dr. Walter Flemming at 12pm in the Topeke Auditorium. Dr. Flemming is a DCC Alumni (1973) and a previous DCC instructor! He is now the Head of the Native American Studies department at Montana State University in Bozeman. Dr. Flemming will be sharing about a little known principle in public international law called "Doctrine of Discovery." Attenders of Dr. Flemming's presentation will walk away understanding the justification for colonization and seizure of land in which Christopher Columbus, and most European explorers, were motivated by. "I was mind-blown after hearing Dr. Flemming's presentation last year. I can't believe this information isn't in our history books!" said co-coordinator Daneen Peterson.


DCC's InterVarsity Chirstian Fellowship group will hold a prayer walk. Anyone is welcome to the Toepke Walking Track during the day where they can pick up a Prayer Card to pray over. At 6pm, the InterVarsity students will gather, on the Walking Track, for a time of group prayer. All students and community members are welcome.


The evening session will begin at 6:30pm with the Land Acknowledgement Plaque presentation. This will be followed by a presentation of Montana tribal flags. Students and community members from the various Montana tribes will present and explain each tribe's flag. A few DCC students will share their culture by dancing with some special drummers coming all the way from Crow Agency. The day's events will end with a Student Panel session. The Native American DCC students desire to share their culture with their peers as well as the community.


"I have enjoyed being a part of Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the past three years. Each year, I learn something new and I'm left in awe of the resiliency of Native Americans," says Peterson.


All events and activities related to Indigenous Peoples' Day are free to students and the community. We look forward to seeing you on campus this Monday, Oct 10th.