Honoring ‘Indigenous People’s Day’ at Furman University
Furman University, situated in Greenville, South Carolina, has long been recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. As we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day, we will take a closer look at Furman’s proactive steps, particularly through the Native American and Indigenous Association (NAIA), in celebrating and acknowledging the significance of Indigenous People’s Day within its community.
Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated on the second Monday of October and stands as a counter-narrative to Columbus Day. It serves as a reminder of the historical injustices faced by Indigenous peoples as a result of colonization and displacement. Even more importantly, it honors the tenacity, culture, and accomplishments of Indigenous communities, both in the past and the present
Furman University has always strived to be a community that embraces diversity and values different cultures and perspectives. The university, over the years, has demonstrated this commitment through its engagement with the Native American and Indigenous Association (NAIA) and made efforts toward this commitment by acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous People’s Day. By acknowledging this heritage, Furman demonstrates respect for the land on which the institution sits.
Getting Involved at Furman
NAIA at Furman primarily serves as a bridge between the Indigenous community and the broader campus. Through events like Cultural Life Programs (CLPs), NAIA actively works to raise awareness about Indigenous cultures and histories.
One of the remarkable initiatives undertaken by Furman University is the incorporation of Indigenous studies into its curriculum. By encouraging and sponsoring its faculty to establish May Experience programs that aim to recognize and learn more about the history and progress of the Indigenous people, Furman seeks to promote the presence of Indigenous
people on campus. To ensure a supportive and inclusive environment for Indigenous students, Furman, in partnership with NAIA, offers resources and services tailored to their unique needs. This includes spaces for cultural expression such as the Center for Inclusive Communities, and a sense of belonging within the university community. These efforts ensure that Indigenous students thrive during their time at Furman.
Indigenous People’s Day serves as an important opportunity for Furman University to reaffirm its commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and respect for all cultures. By acknowledging the historical presence of Indigenous communities and promoting educational awareness, Furman seeks to reaffirm its commitment to appreciating people from all walks of life.
Kobby Frempong, ’26