For generations, American school children were taught to honor the “discovery” of the North American continent by Christopher Columbus in 1492.In more recent years, there has been a shift towards using the traditional “Columbus Day” on the second Monday in October to honor the native people who populated the continent at the time of discovery.The Native American Community Resource Coalition of Wichita will commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day from 10 a.m. to noon on Sat., Oct. 7 at the Mid-America All-Indian Museum, 650 N Seneca St. The day will begin with a blessing and reading of the proclamation by the City of Wichita recognizing Mon.,Oct. 9 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, followed by a by a Trail of Tears Memorial walk around the drum on the back grounds of the museum. The Trail of Tears was the forced westward migration of American Indian tribes from the South and Southeast as part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.   The Federal Government consolidated and relocated tribes to reservations forcing them to surrender their lands and moving them to reservations.  All five “Civilized” tribes, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole were resettled.That afternoon, from 2 – 8 p.m., MAAIM will host the Wichita All-Nations Powwow. This event is free and open to the public. Community Resource and Health Stations will be onsite to administer flu shots and test for blood sugar, high blood pressure and HIV. Hands-on projects and games for children will also be available.

This Wed. Sept. 27, MAAIM will also host a Senior Wednesday talk about Indigenous Peoples Remembrance Day from 1:30-2:30 p.m.  Entry is $2 and includes museum admission. Admission is free for museum members.

The Indigenous People’s Day events are hosted by the Native American Community Resource Coalition, which includes Ascension Living Hope, Native American Elders Council, Native American Parents Advisory Council, Greater Wichita Cherokee Community, Hunter Health, Wichita Indian United Methodist Church, Kansas Department for Children and Families, Kaw Nation CCDF, USD 259 Native American Indian Education Program, MMIW Wichita-KS Chapter and MAAIM. Visitors are asked to park at Exploration Place and walk across the Keeper Plaza to MAAIM, as the small parking lot in front of the museum is reserved for elders and those who are handicapped.

P.J. Griekspoor is a semi-retired veteran journalist with 55 years experience in writing and editing in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina and Wichita.  She spent 18 years at the Wichita Eagle...