Updated: October 11, 2021 10:44 PM
Created: October 11, 2021 08:55 PM
Crowds of Indigenous people, city leaders and supporters were on the steps of Duluth City Hall recognizing Indigenous People's Day.
Held by the Duluth Indigenous Commission, the city's event hosted a number of speakers covering a number of issues relevant to the Twin Ports community.
Edye "Binesiikwe" Washington, the coordinator for Duluth American Indian Education, spoke about the importance of cultural education for Indigenous youth.
"When I was working for native youth agenda we talked a lot about how do we fit into this education system that we're put into, and we realize we have to look into our history," said Washington. "We have to look in our culture and we have to look in our language. If we don't have our language, we don't have our culture, we don't have our history."
This need turned into building an immersive program for Twin Ports youth to learn more about the Indigenous culture that is at the root of this region.
A number of speakers paid tribute to the rich culture in the Northland. One message was the importance of carrying on that culture to the youth.
Brian Stillday Jr., a father of 7, says his culture helped him out of a dark time - a culture he's striving to pass on to his sons.
"I tell him to tell his friends. Whenever we have the drums out, whenever we have the outfit out, invite them over. Learn, teach them, do what you can to keep our traditions alive, our cultures alive, because when I go it goes with me. But what I pass on to him, he'll keep forever."
Stillday says that if he could instill one lesson to his sons, it would be to be true to themselves, their people and remember to do it all with a good heart.
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