Over the past two months, eight cities got rid of Columbus Day in favor of adopting Indigenous Peoples Day.
Three of those cities adopted a resolution this week, while eight passed resolutions in the last two month
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“Albuquerque recognizes the occupation of New Mexico’s homelands for the building of our City and knows indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial and values the process of our society accomplished through and by American Indian thought, culture, technology.”
The proclamation noted 500 years of Indian resistance since the arrival of Christopher Columbus and marked the day “in an effort to reveal a more accurate historical record of the ‘discovery’ of the United States of America,” and to “recognize the contributions of Indigenous peoples despite enormous efforts against native nations.”
— Civil Rights News (@StruggleNewsBot) October 9, 2015
On October 7, the City Council of Lawrence, Kansas supported efforts from students from Haskell University to have the city honor their ancestors by declaring October 12 Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
On Tuesday, Portland’s City Council also declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day, something tribal leaders have been seeking since 1954, as did the City Council of Bexas County, Texas, according to US Uncut. Local San Antonio activists are pressing for the same.
Mayor proclaims Oct.12 Indigenous People’s day in Lawrence,KS! — Rhonda LeValdo (@rhondalevaldo) October 6, 2015
Monday is ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ in Portland http://t.co/g1H2Gs1iqA
— Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler) October 10, 2015
In August, lawmakers in St. Paul, Minnesota declared that October 12 was to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day rather than Columbus Day. The city of Minneapolis passed their resolution a year ago.
Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano, who represents the diverse 9th Ward, told RT that tribal councils and indigenous peoples have been raising awareness about the myths of Christopher Columbus and his legacy since the civil rights movement. Through that work, they were able to connect to young people who, during a mayoral forum in 2013, asked candidates if they would support Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day. Current Mayor Betsy Hodges pledged she would.
“It is important to recognize there is a strategy on the ground. There is organizing that happened to help advance these policy agendas at the city council level,” said Cano.
In September, Anadarko, Oklahoma’s proclamation was signed while surrounded by leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware, and Wichita tribes, among others.
Meanwhile, Mayor Matt Waligora of Alpena, Michigan said the city wants “to develop a strong and productive relationship with all indigenous peoples, including the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, based on mutual respect and trust.”
Olympia, Washington also supported a name change resolution in August, joining Bellingham.
In March, the Newstead Town Council in Erie County, New York voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day after being petitioned by their local high school lacrosse team, the Arkon Tigers.
In New York this weekend, the Redhawk Native American Arts Council will bring together over 500 indigenous American artists, educators, singers and dancers from 75 different nations on Randall’s Island in New York for a Native American Festival and pow-wow. It is the first pow-wow to be held in Manhattan.
On Monday, organizer Cliff Matias said they would celebrate Indigenous People’s Day and recognize America’s earliest native tribes.
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