Nebraska Tribes Honor First Official Indigenous Peoples' Day

Oct. 11, 2021, 1:07 p.m. ·

The new statue of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte is unveiled on Centennial Mall in Lincoln on the first recognized Indigenous Peoples Day. (Photo by Jackie Ourada)
A white teepee on a grassy area with the Nebraska Capitol building in the background.
Event organizers setup a teepee a few blocks from the Capitol building in Lincoln. Nebraska tribes celebrated the first official Indigenous Peoples' Day in the state. (Photo by Aaron Bonderson, Nebraska Public Media News)

Nebraska tribes celebrated the first recognized Indigenous Peoples Day Monday.

The Winnebago Tribe presented a powwow exhibition inside the Capitol building before a statue dedication for Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native doctor in the United States. Leaders spoke on Centennial Mall to honor the first day of recognition.

Two Spirit Stabler, a member of the Omaha Tribe, said it took a lot of work to have the day officially recognized by the state.

"It's a good day to be Indigenous. We fought long and hard for this day -- lots of protesting. I remember years ago, we would be on 'O' Street just fighting for this day to be recognized. That's what it's all about: we are here, we're still here, and we're going to continue to be here, so it's a great honor to recognize us. I feel very blessed and humbled," Stabler said.

Judi gaiashkibos is the executive director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. She said the day is a step forward for healing with Nebraska's first people. gaiashkibos says people can show their support by learning about Nebraska's tribes and buying from Indigenous artists and business owners.

A quote is featured on the new statue of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte on Centennial Mall in Lincoln. (Photo by Jackie Ourada)