Every year more cities across the country are voting to abolish Columbus Day in favor of a new holiday – Indigenous Peoples Day. The Los Angeles City Council, which represents one of the largest municipalities in the country, heralded a triumphant moment for civil rights leaders when they voted this August to eliminate Columbus Day, siding with the long-standing objection by American Indian activists that the explorer “is a symbol of genocide for the native peoples in North American and elsewhere.”
The growing rejection of Columbus Day is a major accomplishment in what has become a national push towards decolonization actions. Just last year history was made during the #NODAPL Movement, a grassroots movement to protect the water on the Standing Rock Reservation and other areas. And while mainstream media branded it as the latest pop culture phenomena, the national dialogue created by NODAPL Water Protectors and others are but the latest victory in a hard-fought battle for social justice that has been going on for generations.
In our own home-state of New Mexico, the struggle for clean water on the Navajo Nation has been going on since uranium mining in the 1950s polluted much of the groundwater. We believe that clean, accessible water is a human right everyone should enjoy, so we partnered with a non-profit organization called DIGDEEP. This amazing group has installed over 100 underground water tanks and are digging filtered wells on the Navajo Nation. We created an exclusive cuff to support their efforts with all profits being donated directly to the Navajo Water Project. Additionally, 10% of sales from the entire AQUA collection will be donated to DIGDEEP.
Indigenous Peoples Day reminds all of us of our sacred responsibility to protect this world that we inhabit, and all life forms on it so that the seventh generation will have a home in which to walk in beauty.