(L-R) Mandy Smoker Broaddus, Joy Harjo, Michaela Goade – SXSW EDU 2023 – Photo by Caleb Pickens

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day

Watch SXSW Sessions From Indigenous Creatives

In celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we invite you to join us on a journey through the creative visionaries, innovators, and leaders of Indigenous heritage who have graced the stage at SXSW over the years. These remarkable individuals have shared their insights, experiences, and wisdom – inspiring us to appreciate the richness of Indigenous culture and the importance of their voices in various fields. Let’s dive into this vibrant celebration of Indigenous talent and perspective by starting with some of the conversations and performances held in the previous years at SXSW below.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrated on the second Monday of October, is a holiday that honors and recognizes the history, contributions, and resilience of Indigenous people in the Americas. This day stands in contrast to Columbus Day, which has been associated with the colonization and oppression of Indigenous communities. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a time to acknowledge the rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions of Indigenous peoples, as well as their ongoing struggles for justice and equality.

Deb Haaland, a wife, sister, auntie, and devoted public servant who currently serves as the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, shares her profound insights on the significance of representation.

Amy Ray and Emily Sailers of the renowned Indigo Girls, along with special guest Cynthia Perez of the Honor the Earth foundation, discuss the intersection of activism and art.

At SXSW EDU, U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, award-winning artist Michaela Goade, and educator Mandy Smoker Broaddus discuss the adaptation of Harjo’s poetry into a picture book, explore the connections between poetry and art, and emphasize their collective power to impact readers of any age, highlighting the fusion of art forms for conveying powerful messages.

Explore more sessions from the SXSW Conference that showcase Indigenous voices from the worlds of tech, film, music, government, and beyond. Additionally, delve into the world of Indigenous cinema with 5 Films Featuring Indigenous Voices at SXSW 2023 Film & TV Festival.

Auntie Deb’s Guide to Equity & Inclusion | SXSW 2022

History has done everything it could to stop her, and yet here she is. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland brings her whole self to the job: her Indigenous and immigrant ancestry, her triumphs and her struggles. She’s an anomaly in the leadership structure, but she argues that voices like hers should be the norm. During Auntie Deb’s Guide to Equity & Inclusion discussion, Secretary Haaland will spotlight her philosophy about why representation matters, how to take it to the next level, and what can be possible when we recognize America’s full history and provide space for all voices to have a seat at the table.

Finding Identity Through Poetry, Art, & Nature with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo | SXSW EDU 2023

“Remember the sky that you were born under, / know each of the star's stories.” So begins the poem Remember, which implores the listener to know their origins, their communion with all things. Poetry, art, and place have the power to transcend generations, and reinforce one's sense of self and connection with others. Join the original author Joy Harjo, an award-winning artist, Michaela Goade, and an educator, Mandy Smoker Broaddus, in conversation as they discuss adapting this poem into a picture book, the connections between poetry and art, and their power to impact readers of any age.

Music and a Movement: A Conversation with the Indigo Girls | SXSW 2023

For over four decades, Indigo Girls have made the personal political. Long before intersectional work became a focus in movement building, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers used their platform to elevate Native grassroots activists — modeling a lens that would take decades to show up in popular culture Join Ray, and Saliers with special guest Cynthia Perez of the Honor the Earth foundation, for a discussion on the intersection of activism and art, what it means to use a platform in music today, and the importance of centering Indigenous voices in the pressing fight for environmental justice.


Watch SXSW On Demand

Before we see you again next March 8-16 in Austin, TX for the 2024 SXSW Conference & Festivals, take a look back at SXSW 2023 to relive exciting Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Film Festival red carpets and Q&As, select Music Festival showcases, and more on our official YouTube Channel.

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