Contact: Matt Lindstrom, 612-673-2148

Minneapolis to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day

April 25, 2014 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges today unanimously approved a resolution that will recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis, beginning this year.

Along with the federal government, Minneapolis has for many years recognized the second Monday in October as Columbus Day. Today’s resolution recognizes the day as Indigenous Peoples Day, marking and celebrating the significance of the American Indian and Indigenous community in Minneapolis, as well as the city’s history of American Indian activism.

“This act recognizes and celebrates the native people who still live on this land and will foster stronger relationships moving forward,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “I am grateful to the community for organizing to make this a reality and am honored to sign this resolution, something I promised last summer I would.”

“Minneapolis is a city of many diverse communities, and I’m happy that we’re able to celebrate our diversity in this new way,” said City Council President Barb Johnson. “The American Indian community is so important to our city, and I’m glad to see the City and community working so closely together.”

"This has been a long time coming and people are going to feel really good about how we're moving forward and advancing a racial equity agenda that really elevates the voice and contributions of American Indian people," said City Council Member Alondra Cano, who authored the resolution.

The concept of Indigenous Peoples Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native nations at a United Nations-sponsored conference, and has since been adopted in various forms by several cities around the country.

Minneapolis’ resolution, in part, states, “The City of Minneapolis recognizes the annexation of Dakota homelands for the building of our city, and knows Indigenous nations have lived upon this land since time immemorial and values the progress our society has accomplished through American Indian technology, thought, and culture.”

It goes on to resolve that, “The City of Minneapolis shall continue its efforts to promote the well-being and growth of the Minneapolis American Indian and Indigenous community. … Indigenous Peoples Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwe, and other Indigenous nations add to our city.”

As part of the resolution, the City of Minneapolis also encourages other businesses, organizations and public entities to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.

The full resolution is available on the City’s website.

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Published Apr 25, 2014