HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - A crowd formed on Michigan Tech's campus this afternoon as the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's Woodland Singers performed at the husky statue on campus, part of Michigan Tech's Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration.
The Woodland Singers perform on Michigan Tech's Campus.
"It's a day that we celebrate and recognize indigenous people across the world, but especially right here on the land in which Michigan Tech was built on, Ojibwa territory," said Kellie Raffaelli, Director of the Michigan Tech Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
A series of events focused on indigenous peoples’ history and culture will take place on campus over the course of several days.
"Tonight we're showing film, and then tomorrow we're having a meet and greet with a Michigan Tech Alumni who's going to talk about his experiences as an indigenous person," added Raffaelli.
Both faculty and students at Michigan Tech feel that it's important to see and recognize indigenous culture.
"We often think of Native American communities as being in the past, but we need to dispel that and stop erasing the fact that they're still here thriving and successfully living right here in our own communities," said Raffaelli.
"It's important, we need to spread awareness of our culture, because not many people understand what our people have gone through," said Kayla Dakota, a student at Michigan Tech.
This is also the first year Indigenous Peoples’ Day has been officially recognized by the State of Michigan, replacing Columbus Day.