Professor speaks on indigenous peoples

The Social Justice Rapid Response Team acknowledged Indigenous Peoples in its Lunch and Learn event on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The topic of discussion was colonialism, and social work Professor Chris Fike moderated the discussion.

Fike asked attendees how issues for indigenous people could be solved.

He also pushed them to consider setbacks and barriers to their ideas.

“Not to get to this really negative space, but these things have to deal with power and access and opportunity, so we have to talk about that stuff,” Fike said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a proclamation that Oct. 14 is now Indigenous Peoples Day, as opposed to Columbus Day. Although this isn’t considered law until a bill is passed in legislation, Deihl thinks this is a positive step.

“We as a nation don’t do nearly enough to honor, give visibility and provide support to Native Americans, but a state holiday is an incredibly small, but positive step,” Deihl said.

Attendees and Fike agreed that the public must own the problems of the system to make a change.

“The general public would have to own that our democracy is broken and doesn’t work, and it’s not representative,” Fike said.

Melissa Vennix
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