Educators call for unity at Indigenous People’s Day celebration

Educators called for more awareness of indigenous cultures around the world at the 8th annual Indigenous People’s Day celebration at Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia. About a hundred Philadelphians gathered to learn about the cultures of native people of the Americas and to honor their own heritage.

The event was organized by Indigenous Education. The organization’s co-founder, Tavis Sanders, also known as Red Tail Hawk, said  he hopes the event will help educate other members of the community about indigenous cultures all over the world. He highlighted love and affection, and respect for all people, especially women and elders, as themes of the indigenous cultures.

Bartram’s Garden staff members gave a botanical tour, and Sanders said he was thrilled to be holding the event at the garden for a second year. Sanders is in awe of how the garden has been kept up for hundreds of years. “It’s very important to us as an indigenous population here in Philly, so that our children could come and see what this historic land looked like before development,” he said.

Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac also performed and taught native dances of Mexico, and attendees were invited to learn to make dream catchers.

“We are not about dividing,” said Renee Sanders, also known as Red Silver Fox. “We’re about unity and about bringing all people of color, and all people, together.” Sanders, a music teacher, added that Indigenous People’s Day is a great start to changing the narrative of history in the Americas to reflect the experience of all cultures.

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