Honoring Indigenous Peoples Day

On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day and every day, we acknowledge the systematic erasure of many Nations and recognize those still among us. 

The New Victory Theater is on the island known as Mannahatta (now called Manhattan) located in Lenapehoking, the homeland of the Lenape people. These lands are the intertribal trade lands still under the stewardship of many more Nations.

—To continue reading this land acknowledgment, check out the New Victory program the next time you’re in the theater.

This season, you’ll notice this land acknowledgment in our programs and on select screens in our lobbies. In our efforts to be as mindful as possible of the many communities we serve, we’re taking a cue from Indigenous peoples and beginning our stories with reverence and respect.

Many people are familiar with the idea that the explorer Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492—this is a story that has been passed down through American history classes from generation to generation. What this story does not acknowledge is that Indigenous peoples had been living in what we now call America long before Christopher Columbus arrived.

Ajijaak on Turtle Island
Ajijaak on Turtle Island (New Victory, 2019)

By referring to today’s holiday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, rather than Columbus Day, we are countering the “doctrine of discovery” surrounding the story of Columbus, and acknowledging that Indigenous Peoples are the first inhabitants of the Americas.

It is important to acknowledge the Peoples of these Nations, their cultures, their communities, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations.

Where are you reading this blog post? What can you do in your home or community to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

If you’d like to discover more information about the history and traditions of Indigenous peoples, please visit the following resources: