Every year more cities across the country are replacing Columbus Day in favor of a new holiday – Indigenous Peoples Day. Here in Albuquerque, the change was made in 2015. New Mexico’s Indigenous population makes up 10.6%, with 22 distinct American Indian tribes calling this beautiful state home. Jewelry is a large part of Native culture, and we are blessed to be immersed daily in the inspiring designs of both traditional and contemporary Native jewelers, artists and artisans.
In observance of Indigenous People’s Day, we at American West Jewelry would like to say “thank you!” to all of our Indigenous friends and family for the immense contributions they have given not only the jewelry world, but all facets of American life, from farming to the creation of our Constitution. Did you know that the Founding Fathers were inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy’s form of democracy? Well now you do!
For me, Indigenous Peoples Day is a day of remembrance to the millions of men, women and children who were killed in the Americas, forgotten in the history books and in unmarked graves. It is a day to honor the warriors who lived and died fighting for their people and their homeland, and to give thanks to each and every mother and grandmother, father and grandfather who survived so that we would survive, who clung to life in impossible situations so that our people would continue. Indigenous Peoples Day reminds all of us of our sacred responsibility to protect this world that we inhabit and all life forms on it so that the seventh generation will have a home in which to walk in beauty.