The theme of this year's festival is "Indigenize the Valley," which organizers hope will spread to other metropolitan areas and raise awareness of indigenous contributions and ingenuity.
Indigenous people in and around Phoenix, in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, presented their dance performances, traditional customs, art and food culture Wednesday night at the Phoenix Art Museum.
The activities are part of the Indigenous Peoples' Day celebrations that began with the opening ceremony and other events, including the screening of indigenous films on Saturday.
This year, Indigenous Peoples' Day falls on October 9. The occasion celebrates Native American history and culture, recognizes the losses they have suffered and honors the contributions they continue to make to American society.
In 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a proclamation to officially commemorate the holiday.
The #PHX City Council voted to make Indigenous Peoples’ Day a City holiday.— Phoenix City Manager (@PHXcitymanager) October 5, 2023
This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day falls on October 9, and City offices will be closed in observation.
Details in the #PHXNewsroom: https://t.co/JK2aeE1GU6 pic.twitter.com/oEtkCCSAKC
In April of this year, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council voted to designate the second Monday in October as a city holiday to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day. As part of a resolution passed by the Mayor and Phoenix City Council, Indigenous Peoples Day becomes a city holiday beginning this year.
The theme of this year's festival is "Indigenize the Valley," which organizers hope will spread to other metropolitan areas and raise awareness of the indigenous contributions and ingenuity that predate the creation of the state of Arizona from time immemorial.
Nubia Guzman, a Mexican-born indigenous artisan artist, local small business owner and former art teacher, taught visitors how to make traditional handcrafted jewelry for free at the launch party, and participants were able to keep their finished products - earrings, necklaces, bracelets - as gifts.
Speaking to the press, Guzman said she was thrilled when the organizer invited her to exhibit her artwork at the Indigenous Peoples' Day opening ceremony. The traditional handicrafts she brought for the occasion were very popular, which made her very happy.
The artist said that indigenous residents have been fully integrated into society and indigenous culture has become part of U.S. culture.