Utah celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with speeches, song and dance

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Chase Hobson waits for his turn to dance at the Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Chase Hobson

Some 200 people gathered in Salt Lake City on Monday for Indigenous Peoples Day.

This countercelebration to Columbus Day featured Native American songs, blessings and dancing as well as food such as blue corn mush and Navajo tea.

Speeches focused on Native American issues, especially the high rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).

According to a 2012 report from the United States Department of Justice, Native American women are murdered at a rate more than 10 times the national average on some reservations.

Utah and Salt Lake City both rank in the top 10 among U.S. states and cities for the highest number of MMIWG cases, according to a 2018 report from the Urban Indian Health Institute.

The event was sponsored by The Utah League of American Voters and took place in front of the Breonna Taylor Memorial at 900 South and 300 West. Taylor, a Black woman, was shot multiple times by white officers in Louisville, Ky., after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them, authorities said.