Council passes resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day

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April 25, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The City Council passed a resolution this morning recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day — the same day as Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

City leaders will recognize the importance of American Indian and Indigenous communities on the holiday beginning this year and urge businesses and other community groups to celebrate the day as Indigenous Peoples Day over Columbus Day. The vote came after emotional speeches by American Indian leaders in the community and a celebratory event at City Hall before the Council meeting.

Deanna StandingCloud, a parent engagement coordinator for Minneapolis Public Schools, said the resolution shows the city's children that it's "never too late for healing."

"My heart is happy that my children and grandchildren will grow up in a city that celebrates its indigenous culture," she said.

Bill Means, a founder and board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, said "Columbus didn't discover anything." 

"It's time we change a myth of history," he said, adding he hopes state and federal lawmakers will push for renaming the holiday as well.

Recognizing Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day was proposed by a delegation of Native American nations in 1977 at a United Nations-sponsored conference. Several cities around the country have passed resolutions similar to the one Minneapolis approved today.