Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

October 18, 2016

NIEA Urges Justice in Racial Attack on Indigenous Peoples Marchers in Reno

Statement of the National Indian Education Association, after the driver of a truck plows through Indigenous Peoples Marchers in Reno. Reno Police charged the victims and only charged the driver with a misdemeanor. One grandmother is hospitalized with a fractured pelvis.

On behalf of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) the largest and oldest
organization advocating for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian
students, schools and communities, we write to express our deep concern and
outrage at the recent assault and hate crime that was committed against the Reno
Sparks Indian Colony, Nevada Tribes, and the community who were engaged in a
peaceful rally and march to protest Columbus Day and calling for the city and state to
replace this federal holiday to honor Indigenous People's Day. NIEA has long
supported Indigenous People's Day, having passed a resolution just last year as an
appropriate way to name what is now known as Columbus Day. We are particularly
concerned that our tribal and urban Indian communities continue to experience a
legacy of historical trauma from the generations of federal policies meant to
dispossess and terminate our very existence.

On October 5-8, NIEA recently held our 47th Annual Convention in Reno. Five years
ago our membership chose Reno as the host site to bring over 1,200 Native educators,
tribal government officials, students, school leaders and organizations together to
collectively support education resources, equity, and options for Native students.
This gathering was co-sponsored by the Reno Sparks Indian Colony, the 18 federally
recognized reservations and colonies in Nevada, and the Reno Convention and
Planning Bureau and convened at the Sierra Grand Resort and Hotel/Convention
Center. The Convention was an incredible gathering of love, sharing best practices,
networking, and cultural sharing. We also know that Native students face some of
the most difficult circumstances that often affect graduation rates and life outcomes.
Research has shown Native students who are valued and respected in their cultural
and historical identity experience greater levels of success and options. We also know
that every student and family has a right to express and advocate for themselves and
their community.
Numerous videos and testimony shared across social media clearly shows the truck
driving into the peaceful protester on Indigenous People's Day was an unprovoked
and pre-mediated attack on our community, relatives and those attending the rally.
We demand that urgent action is taken to ensure justice is provided for those
members who were injured and traumatized by this horrific and intentional attack:
investigating this race-based violence and denial of rights perpetrated upon the
protestors is the right first and immediate step. NIEA has also begun the process of
contacting our allies to ensure this will not happen again.
In the spirit of healing and reconciliation we support the local Native community in
urging that the city take the following steps:
1. Work in true proactive healing with the Reno Sparks Indian Colony, all tribes in
Nevada and indigenous students attending public schools and institutions of
higher learning;
2. Collaborate with tribal leaders, educators, and cultural leaders to develop and
implement a culturally relevant and responsive curriculum;
3. Set a clear pathway to train, hire and retain more Native teachers and professors;
4. Ensure Native voices are at the table in all civic and social events to educate
Nevadans on the incredible accomplishments and history of the tribes in
Nevada; and
5. Work to change Columbus Day to recognize and honor Indigenous People
We encourage Indian Country and Native communities across our nation to
continue their work to support the education, health and welfare of all our Native
children, families, people, lands and natural resources.
About The National Indian Education Association (NIEA)
NIEA is the Nation's most inclusive advocacy organization advancing comprehensive culture-based
educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Formed by
Native educators in 1969 to encourage a national discourse on education, NIEA adheres to the
organization's founding principles- to convene educators to explore ways to improve schools and the
educational systems serving Native children; to promote the maintenance and continued development of
language and cultural programs; and to develop and implement strategies for influencing local, state,

and federal policy and decision makers. For more information visit


Anonymous said...

Good. 1,200 more people can come to Standing Rock. Knowledge plus ACTION is what's needed.

Anonymous said...

Many indigenous speakers at the Reno city council meeting with thoughtful, articulate, and discerning comments. Also, eye witnesses came forward to provide testimony to the Reno city council on behalf of the attendees who were injured in anti-c__umbus day event.
After listening to the speakers and some of the comments from council members it seemed likely that the sheriff had evidence & could arrest the driver.
What happened that the driver got away with hit & run ??
The guy drove his truck into a crowd of people.
What is there to debate about?
The problem is if individuals act like this against a group in public,
what else do they do when not as many witnesses are around ?
George zimmerman stalked Trayvon Martin as he walked home & killed him. Many people believe he got away with murder. But many more people came to zimmerman's defense. His history of violence with his wife, ect .. wasn't allowed in court.
These are crimes of hate.