A celebration of dances and stories of traditional Native American cultures were showcased here at University of Wisconsin-Superior.

People gathered around the Maawanji’idiwin – The Place Where We Come Together on Oct. 10 for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The Indigenous Cultures Resource Center (ICRC) and Native Nations Student Organization (NNSO) invited students, faculty, and the community to celebrate indigenous people from different cultures.

“We have our own rich traditions and cultures. That’s why Indigenous People’s Day is so important. because we want it to be a celebration and actually show our culture; we’re still here and we have been here,” said President of Native Nations Student Organization Dillion Krisik.

Minnesota has recognized Indigenous People’s Day since 2014, with Wisconsin following suit in 2019. Previously the day was known as Columbus Day.

“He’s kinda described as the man who came over in 1942, sailed the ocean blue, founded ‘America’. Even though there were plenty of people here who resided here already,” said Krisik. “So those statements you often get taught in school ‘he founded’ kind of make it seem like he’s brought over all of these nice things. we’re not trying to forget him. He happened and he is a part of history, but we’re also trying to make it known that he shouldn’t be seen as a hero.”

During the celebration, dances such as grass, jingle, fancy shawl as well as intertribal dances were showcased, giving those who aren’t familiar with the culture a chance to be involved.

NNSO holds meetings in Swenson 1030 every Monday at 5 p.m. for chances for any student to be more involved.

“We’re a welcoming space. We want all sorts of people to come in here and be comfortable. but it’s also providing a space that’s welcoming for people that are non-indigenous as well,” Krisik said.

With photographer Rene Williams; Drew Kerner for the Promethean.

Native Nations Student Organization, Chiwaagamin Singers, and some local community members from the Red Cliff band of Ojibwe group photo. | Photo by Rene Williams

*This article has been edited from the original publication to ensure accuracy.