On Monday, October 8 Chabot began their Indigenous Peoples week with a speech featuring their keynote speaker Dr. LaNada WarJack. The event was held in the event center by Chabot’s Ethnic studies department.
Dr. LaNada WarJack started off with this strong statement referring to the US history that is taught in our school system. “Get that history, the true history, and learn it. The true history is still never taught.”
The speech largely focused on the recent argument between whether it should be called Columbus day or Indigenous peoples day and Native American culture often being misrepresented. Asking why the US celebrates genocide as a holiday.
Dr. WarJack received a very warm welcome by the crowd as she spoke to applause and cheers. Kelly, a former student of Chabot also spoke at the event and was responsible for introducing Dr. WarJack, before introducing her she stated.
“When I was a student here not long ago, Chabot didn’t offer anything like this so I really appreciate [having Indigenous peoples week now].” I love that Chabot decided not to participate in celebrating the erasure of Native people.”
Dr. WarJack also encouraged students at Chabot to take advantage of this Ethnic Studies program and learn the real history. “Not many colleges have this program so take advantage.”
She continued to encourage people to be aware of their history and always be prepared to be an advocate when need be.
Dr. LaNada WarJack then proceeded to show the inhumane events that Indigenous people had to endure. Having their land stolen, being turned into slaves, being taken away from their families to be put into boarding schools, etc.
When she was done speaking, Dr. WarJack received a positive reaction from the crowd and standing ovation with people cheering and clapping.
The Ethnic studies program offers many degrees and opportunities to students to further expand their knowledge on true history. A testimonial found on their pamphlet given at the speech from former student George J. Benjamin III, “The most important thing about ethnic studies is that it helped me find more of myself and my history, which is information that I can carry with me for life.”
If you are interested in learning more about what the ethnic studies program has to offer students you can contact department chair Kay Fischer, her information can be found on the Chabot college website.