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Indigenous Peoples' Day efforts to resume this fall, activist says

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Indigenous Peoples' Day supporter Tushka Hill addresses the OKC City Council in October 2015.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite last year’s narrow defeat of a resolution, introducing Indigenous Peoples’ Day – to supplant the controversial “Columbus Day” federal holiday – Native American activists here in central Oklahoma are planning to reintroduce the resolution in coming weeks, Red Dirt Report was told this past week.

Sarah Adams-Cornell helped lead those pro-Indigenous Peoples’ Day efforts in 2015, and, despite a 5-4 vote in the City Council of Oklahoma City against the heartfelt resolution (with Republican council members against the resolution), she said Oklahoma City is “on Indian land” and that because Native Americans are used “for tourism dollars” in the city and the state, those indigenous people should be “recognized with a day, considering all of the days where other people are recognized.”

Sarah Adams-Cornell talks to the media following her presentation of Indigenous Peoples' Day to the City Council of Oklahoma City in 2015. (Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report)

Adams-Cornell said she and other Native American activists are meeting this week in Oklahoma City to strategize and discuss about how to get the support of more council members and change some “no” votes to “yes” votes for the introduction of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is recognized on the second Monday of October in Anadarko, Okla. and large cities throughout the United States, as an alternative to Columbus Day, due to explorer Christopher Columbus’ reputation as a “genocidal maniac.” (read RDR's 2014 editorial on why it is time to end Columbus Day here).

“I think we’ll have a lot more support from non-indigenous people this time,” Adams-Cornell said. “Hopefully that will encourage council members to listen to their constituents.”

She added, however, that there is no way of telling which way the vote would go this time.

Red Dirt Report will have more on this year’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day efforts in coming days. 

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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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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