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Greater Cincinnati celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day with multiple days of events

Jheri Neri
Nick Swartsell
Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition Executive Director Jheri Neri.

Cincinnati sits on lands occupied before European colonization by the Shawnee and Myaamia people — a fact the city of Cincinnati has only recently officially recognized with Indigenous Peoples' Day, which this year falls on October 11.

A group of longtime advocates for Indigenous rights and culture is holding a three-day Indigenous Peoples' Day Convergence starting Oct. 8 to observe local history, present-day Indigenous cultures and the connections between Indigenous peoples across the globe.

The Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition has organized speaking events with noted actor and musician Gary Farmer, actress Irene Bedard and many others, as well as art exhibitions at Downtown's 21c Museum and Camp Washington's Wave Pool Gallery. The series will culminate with an outdoor potluck dinner.

"Prior to first contact, what is now Ohio was made up of many Native American and Indigenous nations," GCNAC Executive Director Jheri Neri said in a news release about the events. "There are over 50 tribes who called Ohio home, including the Shawnee and Myaamia. Unfortunately, those tribes are no longer here due to forced removal and broken treaties. We are working toward creating an Indigenous Peoples Day that we can celebrate worldwide and reunite the native community with the rest of the communities in Cincinnati."

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the Indigenous Peoples' Day Convergence are Neri, Bedard and North Carolina-based archivist and writer Shepherd Tsosie, who will be speaking at the Convergence.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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