October 9th is officially Indigenous People’s Day in Minnesota

October 9th is now Indigenous People’s Day

It's no longer Columbus day, at least not in Minnesota. It's now Indigenous People's Day.

Governor Tim Walz signed a bill declaring October 9th as Indigenous People’s Day. The proclamation signed replaces what was once Columbus Day.

Minnesota now joins other states in recognizing the pain and suffering felt by indigenous peoples during western colonization. The other stats that recognized today as Indigenous People’s Day include,  Arizona, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

Wisconsin has recognized today as indigenous people’s day since 2019.

Today at Duluth City Hall, state leaders gathered with community members, youth leaders, city councilor’s and tribal leaders to recognize the proclamation. “It is important for the people of Duluth to recognize this pain and acknowledge indigenous people,” said Mayor Emily Larson.

Leaders are still fighting to make sure indigenous people are heard and have the same opportunities as everyone else. This new legislation will become a guideline for teaching youth about what came before Christopher Columbus.

In the Governor’s proclamation it reads:

The Indigenous peoples who resided on this land prior to the arrival of European settlers, particularly the Dakota and Anishinaabe, experienced a history defined by violence, broken promises, displacement, deprivation, and disease. We must reconcile with this history as we seek to build a brighter future for all Minnesotans, while maintaining strong government-to-government relationships and recognizing tribal sovereignty.”

In 2021, Governor Walz signed legislation to help strengthen relationships with Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations:

  • Funding the Minnesota American Indian Scholars Program and expanding the Tribal College Supplemental Grant Assistance Program
  • Expanding the Minnesota Indian Teacher Training Program
  • Investing in Native Language Revitalization Grants
  • Protecting Native children’s inherent right to access their culture, language, and Tribal identities
  • Making a historic, $1 billion investment in housing and homelessness prevention
  • Invested in food security and Tribal food sovereignty initiatives
  • Expanding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office and establishing the Office of American Indian Health

There are celebrations happening at Denfeld High School at 4 p.m. and at UWS at 5 p.m.