Columbus Day history of actions

last colombus day in detroit.jpg

October 2014


After a summer spent at the School of Unity and Liberation in Oakland, CA, Sacramento Knoxx returned to Detroit to continue liberation efforts there. He and a collaborative group of young cultural producers in Detroit disrupted the celebration of settler colonialism known as Columbus Day. They brought speakers, beat machines, and microphones to Clark Park where they organized public education and a hip hop cypher around power, oppression and colonialism. The community gathered and created art together while having discussions about the genocidal legacy of Columbus. Participants declared this the last Columbus Day in Detroit.

October 2015


Although the colony still recognized Columbus Day, a grassroots movement in Detroit claimed this day for the celebration of indigenous peoples instead.


Artists in the community gathered to share music and uplift sacred stories through local independent films.


The event provided community space for cultural exchange and community building. Grassroots communities gathered to tell sacred stories and change the future through creative actions. 

October 2016


As the colony continued to celebrate Columbus, Michigan State University’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies program and the Aadizookaan held space for the celebration of Indigenous Peoples.


Grassroots community members from Detroit and across the settler colonial state of Michigan met in what is now East Lansing for education, food, music, dance, community building, and celebration. 

October 2017

Julia Yezbick and the Aadizookaan hosted an anti-ethnography program in Detroit. The Khalil Brothers uplifted the community through film and conversation.


In celebrating indigenous peoples they expanded the perception of indigenous media and art through content and form. Following the screening was a conversation about indigenous rights, the violence of anthropological endeavors, and the legacy of settler colonialism. 

October 2018


The City Council of Detroit acting as administrator for the colony declared their first official Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for celebration of indigenous peoples.


Each year we use this day to uplift creation and unity.


The Aadizookaan continues to provide space for conversation, education, film, poetry, prayers, unity, creation, and community building each falling leaves moon also known as October.

Day 01

St. Paul & Minneapolis, MN

Day 02

Detroit, MI

October 2019


The celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day became a multi-city, multi-day event. Knoxx and the Aadizookaan collaborated with Missy Whiteman to bring a resurgence to the Twin Cities and Detroit. They featured Whiteman’s expanded cinema experience, The Coyote Way with two nights of storytelling, music, dance, film, and prayers; first in Minneapolis-St. Paul, then in Detroit. The Waawiiyaatanong/Detroit event also featured self defense, self care, live performances, native cinema, fresh farmed foods, treaty education, arts installation, and healing justice actions.