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Plus, Mrs. T’s Pierogies has merch now?!?
The Incline

☀️ How to honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Pittsburgh

Plus, Mrs. T’s Pierogies has merch now?!?

By Francesca Dabecco

It’s Tuesday, Pittsburgh.

And yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day celebrating the Indigenous peoples of America. It takes place on the second Monday in October and is observed on the same day as Columbus Day.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day wasn’t a national holiday until this year when President Biden honored the occasion with a proclamation:

“For generations, Federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. We also recommit to supporting a new, brighter future of promise and equity for Tribal Nations — a future grounded in Tribal sovereignty and respect for the human rights of Indigenous people in the Americas and around the world.”

More than 100 cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but not without controversy; disagreement over Christopher Columbus’ legacy persists even here in Pittsburgh. 

You’ll find more on the above below, but first, let’s get to today’s news roundup.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

That's it, Fort Pitt. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @diko.bean)

3 things to know today

📣 The Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition launched a series of anti-violence events around the city to address the recent increase in crime. The programming is scheduled to take place in the weeks and months ahead before ultimately leading up to a “Peace Summit” in May of 2022. The aforementioned group includes Pittsburgh City Councilors Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle, Allegheny County Councilor Olivia Bennett, and state Representatives Jake Wheatley and Ed Gainey, the latter of whom is also running for mayor. (90.5 WESA)

🍎 Worried about food waste in Pittsburgh? This $90K grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture could help. The funds will be used for the Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction pilot program, which will gather research about composting in the region to determine an effective approach that could later expand throughout the city. Suggested solutions include public compositing at city events, mechanical composting, and traditional composting at city facilities. (TribLIVE)

🌈 Dormont just became Allegheny County’s seventh municipality to pass LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws. The new ordinance expands protections for Dormont residents and makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of identity in housing, employment, and public accommodations. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

3 things to make you smile

🌊 We’ll see yinz on the riverside. A stretch of the riverfront trail between 15th and 26th streets in the Strip District is finally open again. It’s been closed for a few years due to construction, but it’s now freshly paved and pruned and ready for visitors. (90.5 WESA)

👻 Is your kiddo a haunted genius? The George A. Romero Foundation launched a contest called “Screams in a Box” challenging participants to write, film, and edit their own Halloween-themed movie. The contest is open to local students ages 9 to 16 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 17. Submitted films should be at least five minutes long. (NEXTPittsburgh)

🍽️ This Mrs. T’s Pierogies’ merch is all sold ‘aht. The beloved local food brand launched a limited edition line of apparel and accessories for National Pierogi Day on Oct. 8, and to the surprise of absolutely zero Pittsburghers, it’s gone like the delicious pillows of dough and potato scarfed off your plate. However, there’s still a chance to win this exclusive ‘90s swag set — not to mention a $1,000 Visa gift card and a year’s supply of pierogies — with the Mrs. T’s Pierogies’ All That and a Box of Pierogies Giveaway taking place through Sun., Oct. 21. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

⬇️ More about Indigenous Peoples’ Day

As mentioned above, there’s a history of controversy when recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day in Pittsburgh. For starters, the Columbus statue in Schenley Park remains wrapped in plastic a year after the Italian Sons & Daughters of America sued the City of Pittsburgh over its proposed removal of the statue. Pittsburgh officials covered the statue last October to protect it from being vandalized during a nationwide movement to remove statues associated with systemic racism.

Proponents of Columbus Day and its accompanying parade view the day as a celebration of Italian Americans’ contributions to America. Others consider the holiday to be a glorification of Columbus’ actions and legacy of harm to Indigenous people. You can learn more in this article where Pittsburgh City Paper spoke with Bloomfield (Aka Little Italy) community members about the issue.

How can I celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day?

📖 Start by learning about the Native Americans who called Pittsburgh home before it became a colonized city. Author Ed Simon takes a comprehensive look at this history in his book, An Alternative History of Pittsburgh. Native life is all around us, including the names of communities, rivers, and more — Allegheny, Aliquippa, Ohio, and Youghiogheny are just a few of them.

📰 This 2018 article by WESA talks about some of the tribes that call Western Pa., home such as the Seneca Nation, and how Europeans fought over the land and rivers that were vital to their lives.

📜 Going back even further in history, you can attend Archaeology Day with the Heinz History Center this Saturday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Rockshelter, a National Historic Landmark and the oldest site of human habitation in North America. 

🖊️ If you’d like a more modern look on what it’s like to be an indigenous person in Pittsburgh, read this first-person story by Native educator Lee Dingus of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy published by PublicSource. The Iroquois people have always inhabited the tri-state area, but despite that, Lee recounts racist stereotypes and judgement from Pittsburghers. Still, she channels wisdom from her elders to educate the next generation to be more understanding and accepting.

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Today

✂️ Learn how to do vinyl cutting for screen printing at this workshop with Prototype PGH (North Oakland)

♻️ Drop off your e-waste at the Pennsylvania Resource Council’s recycling event at Michael Brothers (North Hills)

Tomorrow

💻 Hear from experts at the digital PR Summit lead a discussion in Misinformation and Civil Rights, presented by PRSA Pittsburgh (Online)

🗣️ Connect with nonprofit professionals at the three-day Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership Virtual Summit, through Friday (Online)

📖 Listen to Pittsburgh authors Behr & Rydzowski talk about their book, When You Wonder, You're Learning: Mister Rogers' Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative, Curious, Caring Kid at Riverstone Books (Squirrel Hill)

Thursday

💻 Hear from experts at the digital PR Summit lead a discussion in The Pitfalls of Media Misinformation, presented by PRSA Pittsburgh (Online)

🚨 Listen to governmental officials, community leaders, advocates, and activists talk at The Crisis of Gun Violence in Our Neighborhoods, a panel discussion three years after the horrific Tree of Life massacre (Online)

🎨 Admire the global collection of Pop Art pioneer at Marisol and Warhol Take New York (North Shore)

Friday

📽️ Watch “Beetlejuice” at Row House Cinema’s Halloween-themed drive-in and return on Saturday for “Coraline”  (Strip District)

🚲 Experience the great outdoors along the Great Allegheny Passage at the GAP Relay, through Saturday (Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD)

Saturday

🎃Have a gourd-ous day at the Monster Pumpkins Festival at its new home on Railroad St, through Sunday. (Strip District)

🍸 Right after the Monster Pumpkins Festival, head to the Spirit of the Strip, a 21+ fundraiser to support the Strip District neighborhood (The Stacks at 3 Crossings, Strip District)

🍻 Sample suds and shop from a local maker market at Construction Junction’s Steel City Big Pour (Homewood)

🛍️ Shop from local creators at the Wilkinsburg Arts Festravaganza with Hosanna House in partnership with Radiant Hall and Sleeping Octopus Arts (Wilkinsburg)

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One more thing...

Of course, one way to celebrate Indigenous people year-round is to support the work of Indigenous writers, artists, and business owners.

Do you know of any local Native-owned creators or businesses we should highlight? Hit reply and tell us more!

See yinz back here tomorrow.

— Francesca at The Incline

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