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Ann Arbor to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day in 2016

Nov 17, 2015

Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Berkeley, California.
Credit Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

Ann Arbor city council passed a resolution on Nov. 16 recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day in place of the nation-wide holiday, Columbus Day.

The Ann Arbor News reported Ann Arbor city council's decision this morning:

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to that effect Monday night, describing Indigenous Peoples Day as a chance "to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi and other indigenous peoples add to communities throughout Michigan, the Great Lakes, and all over the world."

A delegation of indigenous nations first proposed the idea of Indigenous Peoples Day in 1977 at a United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas. The holiday not only intends to recognize the history and existing culture of Native Americans, it also seeks to shed light on the atrocities committed by Christopher Columbus and his people on indigenous Americans.

Ann Arbor joins Alpena and Traverse City as the third Michigan city to renounce Columbus Day this year. Traverse City passed a resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in February and Alpena did the same in September.

- Allana Akhtar, Michigan Radio Newsroom