Indigenous People’s Day Des Moines

Following is information about Indigenous People’s Day, this coming Monday, Oct. 12. Organized by my friends of the Great Plains Action Society (previously known as Indigenous Iowa). You may have heard me talk about Seeding Sovereignty, where my friend Christine Nobiss did so much work. She is no longer involved there, but is now with the Great Plains Action Society.

Let’s look at the Indigenous Peoples that have survived genocide and continue to carry on their ways—ways which can save the world. Let’s look to our tribal nations for an Indigenous-led regenerative economy created through traditional ecological knowledge. An effective way we can protect, preserve and restore the climate is by seeing and taking the word of people who fight colonial oppression by tenaciously holding onto traditions that tell a different story about this planet.
Let’s get funds to Indigenous Peoples first. We have answers.

Christine Nobiss

After reading that statement, Bear Creek Friends Meeting sent a donation.

Great Plains Action Society


We are Indigenous Peoples of the Great Plains proactively working to resist and Indigenize colonial-capitalist institutions and behaviors. We defend the land where our ancestors lie and where the children walk. Our goal is to reclaim what has been stolen and oppressed to create a better world for us all.

Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 – Des Moines, MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2020 AT 4 PM – 7 PM CDT, Iowa State Capitol

Join a coalition of organizations in Des Moines on October 12th from 4-7 (South Lawn of the Capitol Building) to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day! However, as we celebrate this day we also recognize that columbus day has not yet been abolished in Iowa and is simultaneously celebrated and taught in the public school system. Furthermore, monuments to white supremacy litter the landscape of Iowa and we demand that they be removed.


Organizers will present Iowa legislators with a petition that will kick off at the event demanding that all racist, misogynistic, homo/transphobic, whitewashed historical depictions be removed from all state grounds and facilities. On the South Lawn, there is a Christopher Columbus Monument that was celebrated in 1938 by five thousand people who showed up for the dedication of the statue on Columbus Day.

Local leaders will speak, but we will also provide time for testimony from the crowd. Organizations will have tables with information and Great Plains Action and Vote Mob will have a table where folx can register to vote. If we want the changes we demand on the frontlines to take place then we need legislators in government that will write them into law. Let’s bring the frontlines to polls.

COVID-19 is still an issue and we ask all who attend to wear masks and stand 6 feet apart. If you would like to testify and have access to a bullhorn or mic, please bring it. propaganda and make folx feel unwelcome in public spaces. This is a peaceful event led by Indigenous Folx. Please do not take actions that will put Brown and Black folx in jeopardy.

Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 – Des Moines, MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2020 AT 4 PM CDT – 7 PM CDT, Iowa State Capitol

The demand for the removal of the Columbus statue was also part of the event July 4th, HEY! Come Get Your Racist Uncle. Remove Monuments to White Supremacy in Iowa:

In response to police brutality and racial injustice, monuments to white supremacy are being removed all over the country but People of the World Majority are being forced to put their safety on the line to carry out this long-overdue purge. Folx have been shot, arrested, and targeted. Now, #45 has signed an executive order to arrest anyone who vandalizes, removes a statue or threatens federal property and jail them for up to 10 years.

This is an Indigenous-led rally and we do not want any more People of the World Majority to put their bodies on the line so this is a permitted event with the intent of making the state–the colonizers–do the job for us. All we should need to do is ask, especially when these monuments fall into the realm of hate propaganda and make folx feel unwelcome in public spaces. However, this colonially enforced government is built upon white supremacy and human rights violations and, thus, will not budge unless we make them take action on the issue. If they won’t protect those that are doing the right thing to create a better society then we demand legislation that removes all monuments, murals, and depictions of white supremacist persons, acts, and ideologies from all Iowa state grounds and state-funded institutions.

To start, we insist that the following statues and mural be removed from the Iowa State Capitol Building and grounds.

On the West Lawn, there is a 15-foot bronze statue on a large pedestal that stands in front of the Iowa State Capitol Building. According to the Iowa State Government website, the statue depicts “The Pioneer of the former territory, a group consisting of father and son guided by a friendly Indian in search of a home. The pioneer depicted was to be hardy, capable of overcoming the hardships of territorial days to make Iowa his home.” The father and son settler invaders are standing tall and proud, looking west, as the “friendly Indian” sits behind them in a less powerful, dejected position.

Inside the capitol is a piece that overwhelmingly encompasses this sentiment called the Westward Mural, which covers a massive wall. The artist writes that “The main idea of the picture is symbolical presentation of the Pioneers led by the spirits of Civilization and Enlightenment to the conquest by cultivation of the Great West.” He also speaks about overcoming the wilderness with plowed fields–as if the current Indigenous inhabitants, such as the Ioway and the Meskwaki, had not already created capable and efficient land management systems.

On the South Lawn, there is a Christopher Columbus Monument that was celebrated in 1938 by five thousand people who showed up for the dedication of the statue on Columbus Day. The statue was put up just a couple years after the Columbus Club of Iowa successfully lobbied to have Walker Park renamed to Columbus Park and have a Columbus monument placed there.

Indigenous People’s Day is coming up. This is a good time to have conversations about colonization and respecting Indigenous sovereignty. Climate Justice Alliance provides a set of policy proposals we can support and organize around. 

This is one of the Policy Planks of the United Frontline Table’s toolkit A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy. The policy planks are one of three tools in the kit, together with series of Strategy Questions and the Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform Framework. Make sure the check out the section on How to Use This Resource to Enhance Your Work and the Working Definitions.

BREAKING THE CYCLE OF COLONIZATION by Climate Justice Alliance. October 6, 2020

This entry was posted in climate change, decolonize, Great Plains Action Society, Indigenous, Native Americans, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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