7th annual Indigenous People’s Day celebration held on Randall's Island
The annual Indigenous People’s Day celebration has returned for its seventh year.
Indigenous people from across the Americas, Caribbean and Polynesian islands gathered on Randall’s Island to share traditions through song, dance, ritual and prayer.
Cliff Matias, cultural director at the Redhawk Native American Arts Council, was among the thousands of people who gathered on the island to celebrate but also to push for the abolishment of Columbus Day.
"It’s a day of celebrating our survival whether it’s their prayer or like the water ceremony, whether it’s through song and dance,” said Matias.
There was also a water ceremony, where Indigenous people from countries like the Philippines and Nigeria joined to pour water from their native lands into ours in hopes of purifying all water around the world.
Although Monday marked the annual Columbus Day Parade in New York City, some participants are calling on the local government to recognize Indigenous People's Day instead.