Celebrating Indigenous People’s Day

From the Office of Dean Heller

Dear Colleagues,

The second Monday in October is Indigenous People’s Day. Also known as Columbus Day, this federal holiday was first established in 1937. Last year, President Biden issued a proclamation to formally recognize IndigenousIndigenous People's Day graphic People’s Day.

Today, many universities and municipalities take this opportunity to celebrate the history and cultures of indigenous people. The very name of the state of Connecticut derives from the Mohegan word Quinnitukqut, meaning “long, tidal river.” Connecticut is home to numerous Indigenous communities, including but not limited to the Mahican tribes, the Minisink, the Mohegan tribes, the Pequot, Nipmuc, the Qquiripi tribes (including the Mattabesic, Paugusett, and Schaghticoke), the Paucatuck Eastern Pequot, and the Eastern Pequot. As a land grant university, UConn recognizes we share this land with those who came before us and continue to contribute to our state.

Highlighting this holiday aligns with the ethics of the social work profession which values the dignity of each person. It also exemplifies our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism, a cornerstone of our School’s mission.

Please consider taking part in events related to Indigenous People's Day, which are posted by the UConn Native American Culture Programs. Also learn about Native American and Indigenous studies and programming at UConn.


In solidarity,


Nina Rovinelli Heller
Dean and Zach’s Chair