October 11 is Indigenous People Day. To celebrate, let’s look at the indigenous people of our silver state. There Native American Territory is home to the Great Basin Tribes: Washoe, Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, and Western Shoshone. Across the nation, there are 574 federally-recognized tribes, all uniquely different and all are sovereign nations. In Nevada, there are 20 federally-recognized tribes, comprised of 28 separate reservations, bands, colonies and community councils. Indigenous People have made numerous contributions to our society historically and in present day. Sarah Winnemucca, born in 1844 was a member of the Paiute Tribe in present-day Nevada. She worked as both an interpreter and negotiated between American Indian tribes and the United States Army during the "Indian wars" that occurred throughout the American West in the decades after the Civil War. As a skilled writer and activist, she demanded that Americans live up to their own political ideals, exposing the violence and hypocrisy that accompanied western expansion in her quest to secure her people "a permanent home on their own native soil".
Today, Native American leaders hold many important positions and work to continue to address challenges and make many contributions to society. As we celebrate Indigenous People's Day. As we acknowledge and honor the invaluable contributions and achievements of so many of our Indigenous People throughout history and today.