Brown University Students Stage Die-In, Demand Greater Recognition For Native Americans: Activists want the school to observe an annual Indigenous Peoples' Day
By: Tyler Kingkade
Students staged a "die-in" at the Brown University campus Friday as part of a campaign urging the school to do more to honor Native Americans.
The die-in was scheduled to last 52 minutes and 30 seconds "to signify the 523 years of indigenous resistance since Columbus," according to an event description from the student group Native Americans at Brown.
Friday's event was billed as a "pre-demonstration" for a Monday protest, where students urged the university to change the name of its Fall Weekend Holiday -- a day off from classes that Brown holds on the Monday when many Americans observe Columbus Day -- to "Indigenous Peoples' Day." Seventy-five students had volunteered to be part of the die-in.
Late last week, 14 groups representing black students at the university released a statement calling on the Herald to do more to rectify the columns.
The groups said in the statement that they "rebuke" the newspaper and the author of the two columns, undergraduate M. Dzhali Maier, "for propagating and proliferating racist opinions and erasure, delegitimizing the emotions and trauma of oppressed people, and for issuing a subpar statement, that 'The Herald regrets the publication of the column', [sic] does not adequately acknowledge and apologize for the adverse effects this has had on the undergraduate community."
Both the Herald editors' apology and the statement from the student groups point out that Brown's campus in Providence, Rhode Island, sits on land that used to belong to the Narragansett and Wampanoag nations.
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