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Traverse City to recognize Indigenous People's Day on Columbus Day

Feb 9, 2015

Chris Bussey, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and longtime powwow dancer
Credit Mlive

Traverse City has become the second city in Michigan to recognize Indigenous People's Day on the same date as Columbus Day.

Angeline Antoine is a member of the group Idle No More Michigan that put the resolution before the Traverse City City Council.

She says Columbus never set foot on American soil -- and he mistreated the natives he came into contact with.

"If we can recognize these truths, then we can open dialogue for reconcialiation and break down the barriers between the native and non-native community," she says.

The vote by City Council was unanimous.

Mt. Pleasant was the first city in Michigan to adopt a resolution honoring Indigenous People's Day.

Antoine says the plan is to convince other cities in Michigan to follow suit, then get a statewide resolution.

"And of course the big dream here is that state after state can do it and, then we can do it at a federal level, but that's down the road.  Baby steps, you know, opening one door at a time."