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Anadarko now officially recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day

Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report
Attending the signing of the Indigenous Peoples' Day proclamation in Anadarko are (l-r): Apache Tribe Chairman Lyman Guy, Anadarko Chamber Ex. Dir. David Scott, Mayor Kyle Eastwood, Delaware Tribe Treas. Ann Brower and Wichita Pres. Terri Parton.
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ANADARKO, Okla. – Unless another city passes a similar proclamation in the next two weeks, the City of Anadarko will be the first municipality in Oklahoma to officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which was unanimously approved by the city council here two weeks ago.

On Monday afternoon, Anadarko Mayor Kyle Eastwood, in the council chambers at Anadarko City Hall, signed the Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation, while surrounded by members and tribal leaders from the Apache, Choctaw, Delaware and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes.

Eastwood read the proclamation in its entirety, explaining the day would be held on the second Monday in October, a day when Columbus Day is generally recognized. Among the highlights were that the city officially recognizes and embraces the many contributions of the indigenous people in Anadarko, while rejecting racism towards indigenous people, which leads to poverty and income inequality.

In part, Eastwood noted: “The City of Anadarko strongly supports the proposition that Indigenous Peoples’ Day shall be an opportunity to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region.”

“It is my hope that our decision here will influence decisions in other communities in Oklahoma. It is important that we insist that both sides of history be taught and discussed,” Eastwood said. “We are only able to learn from our past when we learn the facts. I hope this step will be the beginning of our learning from history when it comes to the role indigenous peoples played and still play in the creation of this wonderful country.”

Eastwood said he looks forward to further solidifying relationships with local tribes in the Anadarko area.

“Today is our opportunity to put our past disagreements behind us and work hand in hand to grow and revitalize our city together,” added Eastwood. “Anadarko does best when we work together.”

It was Anadarko Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Scott, himself a member of the Choctaw Nation, who brought the idea of recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day to recently-elected Mayor Eastwood.

David Scott is executive director of the Anadarko Chamber of Commerce and member of the Choctaw Nation. (Sarah Hussain / Red Dirt Report)

“I think this is an exciting development,” Scott told the media.

After signing the proclamation, Eastwood was asked what kind of response he and the council have received since approving the Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution on Sept. 12th.

“The reaction has been very positive,” Eastwood said. “I’ve heard a lot of ‘It’s about time.’”

And acknowledging the fact that the City Council of Oklahoma City is preparing to vote on whether or not to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Eastwood said he encourages Oklahoma City to follow Anadarko’s lead.

Terri Parton, president of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, told Eastwood that their tribes “really appreciate what you have done.”

And Lyman Guy, chairman of the Apache Tribe, said Anadarko’s recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is “a great step forward.”

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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