Published October 8, 2021
President Satish K. Tripathi issued the following statement in advance of Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.
In honor of the Indigenous peoples who were the first inhabitants of North America, the University at Buffalo will observe Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday in October.
Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates Indigenous peoples and recognizes the foundational contributions they have made, and continue to make, across the Americas and around the globe. Our scholarly community values Indigenous cultures, histories, traditions, knowledge systems and political entities, and deeply appreciates the important role of Indigenous people in the history, the present and the future of our region, this country and the world.
UB acknowledges that our campuses operate on land that is the traditional territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the region remains the home of the Haudenosaunee people. Further, we responsibly acknowledge the continuing impact of settler colonialism on the Haudenosaunee and their territories.
UB is committed to working to ensure Indigenous futures by affirming Indigenous ethos, histories, traditions, knowledge systems and political entities as expressed throughout our tripartite mission of education, research and service.
The continuing impact of "settler colonialism" is that UB now exists. Previously, of course, it did not exist as it was founded by European settlers.
Also, what does the term colonialism mean in this context? Human migration is a constant feature of global history. The Indigenous people of North America also migrated here. The Seneca displaced the Erie tribe that once inhabited the Buffalo region, annihilated them completely and took their land. Why are the Seneca thus not considered "colonizers?"
If you observe the day, you should give us the day off.