Indigenous Peoples’ Day at UW- Green Bay | Spectrum News 1
GREEN BAY, Wis. — At a table in the bakery at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Rainy Lampone and three other students are busy making frybread.
The food is part of an Intertribal Student Council fundraiser being held Monday on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
“This is an educational day, but it’s also a celebratory day. It’s both,” Lampone said. “It educates people who are not well versed in indigenous people and our culture, and it’s a celebration for those of us who are still here.”
It’s also a reminder of her heritage.
“Our history is really heartbreaking because of genocide and colonialism,” Lampone said. “This day is a day about empowerment for me and its a reminder that we are strong people and I’m part of that community.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Day honors, celebrates and commemorates the histories and cultures of indigenous people. Wisconsin is one of more than a dozen states that have adopted the holiday.
UW-Green Bay senior Jared Peche said the day is a way of reminding others indigenous people are all around them.
“We’re contemporary people. We’re not something from the past like you see in most movies,” he said.
There’s also a story behind offering frybread.
“When they were displaced from their homelands, indigenous people weren’t able to produce their traditional food and they were given rations which they were forced to survive on” Peche said. “Frybred is the result of using those rations.”
Both Peche and Lampone said Indigenous Peoples’ Day is also very much about the present.
“People think we don’t exist beyond the early 1900s , but we do exist and we are still here,” Lampone said. “This day is to commemorate that.”