Indigenous Peoples' Day

October 9th, 2023 is Indigenous Peoples' Day 

Celebrated on the second Monday of October to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people. The day is centered around reflecting on their tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt but strengthened their communities.

Indigenous People's Day commemorates the Indigenous peoples of North America, celebrates their heritage and brings awareness to the history of colonialism and genocide. The idea for the holiday began at an international United Nations conference on discrimination in 1977. In 1992, the city of Berkeley, California observed its first "Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People" as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day. It is increasingly observed by certain states and municipalities in the United States.


Watch the following films about Native American culture and activism.

Water Is Sacred

Produced by:Mentors: Tiana and Wakinyan LaPointe
2020 MHIFF Ocean Conservation Award student winner: When we pray with water, it helps our bodies and the earth, and we say Wopila Tanka (Immeasurable Thanks) for its medicine.

Mni Wikoni ~ Water is Life

Producer: Charles McMahon

The MY HERO Project celebrates the water protectors of planet earth.

Rainforest Action

Will Parrinello
In 2020 Nemonte received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and was named to Time Magazine’s Top 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Smoke That Travels [Trailer]

Producer: Kayla Briët

"What happens when a story is forgotten? I'm making a film about my dad, Gary Wiski-ge-amatyuk, my family, and what it means to be Native American today."

Stories of TRUST - Arizona

Producer: Christi Cooper-Kuhn, Katie Lose-Gilbertson, Kelly Matheson
Young Navajo artist Jaime Lynn Butler campaigns to save the environment of her beloved American Southwest.

Yellow Woman - A Hero Report Excerpt

Produced by:Betty Bailey & Camille Manybeads Tso

Camille Manybeads Tso tells an inspiring true story of Native American heritage.

These heroes, past and present, uplift the voices of their communities through action.

Chief Joseph

By: Jennifer Beck
"The Earth is the mother of all people and all people should have equal rights upon it."

Crazy Horse

By: Carlos

Crazy Horse (Tashunke-witko)

By: Courtney from California


By: Andrew from Wallingford

Red Cloud

By: Eric from San Diego

Chief Joseph

By: Joel from Spokane
"I hope that no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people."

Chief Wilma Mankiller

By: Susannah Abbey
Chief Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Nyla Innuksuk

By: Wendy Jewell

Nyla Innuksuk is a young indigenous filmmaker who is pushing the boundaries of filmmaking, going beyond 2D (flattie) films to VR/AR and 360 with her Mixtape VR company. Check out her journey to date.

Women Heroes Noel Bennett and Tiana Bighorse

By: SUSAN Drennan GABRIEL Bunn

Two storytellers, elder Tiana Bighorse and young Noel Bennett, published Tiana's family history. Now elderly, Noel is collaborating with Tiana's great grandson.

For Younger Readers - By Younger Readers

Christine Quintasket

By: Catherine from Trumbull
Christine Quintasket was the first published Native American woman author.

Baje Whitethorne

By: Olin Smith
Baje Whitethorne is a celebrated Navajo painter and author.

The Buffalo

The Buffalo has a special place in North American history and culture.

Listen & Read Along

The following stories have links so you can hear the audio as you read. Great for ESL students!

Sarah Winnemucca

By: Isabelle from Wallingford

Sarah Winnemucca was an advocate for Paiute rights.

Maria Tallchief

By: Rebecca Miller

Maria Tallchief was the first Native American prima ballerina in the United States.


Artists celebrate Native American leaders and recreate the traditions of this rich culture.

Suzan Shown Harjo

By: Marilyn Huerta
Suzan Shown Harjo is a living hero.Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee, she is an activist who has been fighting for Native American rights since the 1960s.

Chief Joseph Hinmton Yalektit by Robert Shetterly

By: Robert Shetterly
Portrait of Chief Yalektit by Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the

Oren Lyons

By: Robert Shetterly -

Native American faithkeeper, human rights advocate, and environmental activist

Winona LaDuke is a Native American Harvard graduate economist, environmentalist, activist, author and executive director of Honor The Earth.
Winona LaDuke
Credit: K. E. Harleston

A lyrical interpretation of enlightenment according to Native American traditions

Universal Enlightenment
Credit: Rex A. Begaye

The Earth is a medicine, she gives everything to us. Again, the respect lies there, respecting life, what is important, even if it is not of our own.

- Native American Heritage -
Credit: Rex A. Begaye

Organizer created on 10/9/2017 2:26:30 PM by MY HERO Staff

Last edited 10/3/2023 2:46:44 PM by Abigail Richardson