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Twin Ports Mark Indigenous Peoples Day

October 09, 2017 10:18 PM

Monday, October 9, was celebrated as Indigenous Peoples Day in both of the Twin Ports, marking the first time Superior has recognized the holiday celebrating Native Americans rather than one celebrating Christopher Columbus.

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Superior Mayor Jim Paine read a proclamation declaring Indigenous Peoples Day during a brief ceremony at the Ojibwe burial ground in Wisconsin Point. Paine says the city needs to move forward as a diverse community.

"Places as we understand them are really built by people, and the very first people that discovered this place, and identified a lot of the values that we all share were indigenous people," Paine said.

The proclamation says the City of Superior recognizes the forced assimilation, historical trauma, and cultural genocide that came with colonization. Korii Northrup, a Fond du Lac Band member who wrote the proclamation for Paine, said colonization damaged her people.

"Recognizing that indigenous people still exist is super important. Personally, for me, this is a very big day because most of my life I've been kind of invisible," said Korii Northrup, a Fond du Lac Band member who wrote the proclamation for Paine.

In Duluth, music and the burning of sage kicked off an Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on the steps of City Hall.

"It helps us heal the wounds of the past, the racism the divides the non-native community from the native community, and secondly it helps us tell the truth about history, about American Indian history," said Larry Heady of the Duluth Indigenous Commission.

Heady pointed out that the bulk of American history is about indigenous people, as there are 500 generations worth who've lived here.

The Duluth event was sponsored by the Duluth Indigenous Commission, Idle No More, and the Northwoods Wolf Alliance.


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