University of Alaska Fairbanks holds online event celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021

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Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 4:25 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021 by holding a virtual event at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, October 11.

The university’s theme this year is “Raising Indigenous Voices.”

The celebration honored the contributions of Alaska Native peoples in research, language revitalization, racial justice and the arts, among other subjects.

At the event, keynote speaker Pearl Brower discussed the importance of raising indigenous voices.

“We’ve had a sordid past, and no one can deny that, and if we want to learn from that past, then we must take the time to reflect upon the history that each Alaska Native person has in common, a history that includes assimilationist educational policy that was designed to ‘kill the Indian, save the man,’ and today we grapple with the atrocious history of the residential and boarding school era, in which we find ourselves finding the bodies of children in mass numbers buried at boarding schools,” Brower said.

The event featured an opening prayer from Paul Williams, Jr. and a song and dance number by Byron Nicholai from Toksook Bay.

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