Indigenous People’s Day in Duluth

Mayor Emily Larson declares October 10, 2016 Indigenous People's Day in Duluth.

Today is Columbus Day, a day that’s been a federal holiday in the U.S. since 1937. In recent years, a growing number of cities and states have been calling today Indigenous People’s Day instead to promote Native American Culture.

Columbus Day is historically celebrated on the second Monday of October. Now, Duluth is one of the places where Indigenous People’s Day is also recognized.

Mayor Emily Larson officially declared today Indigenous People’s Day saying, “Therefore now I, Emily Larson, Mayor of Duluth, with all of you, do officially proclaim October 10th, 2016 as Indigenous People’s Day in the City of Duluth.”

Dozens of people stood outside City Hall to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day and take pride in Native American heritage. One speaker said, “Today is a good day to be indigenous. Today is a good day to be recognized. It’s been a long time coming.”

Native Americans and others standing together to celebrate the significance of our country’s first nation. Mayor Emily Larson said, “Today is a really important day and it is a really important step towards acknowledging wholeness and healing and moving forward.”

Speakers and attendees discussed protests surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and if the story of Christopher Columbus discovering America should still be taught in schools.

Alexis Faulk, a member of the St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin said, “I remember my teacher telling us Columbus discovered America and I was like, ‘no, that’s wrong. Indians were here first, Native Americans, we were here first.'”

But they are hoping recognizing Indigenous People’s Day is a step towards acknowledging the struggles of the past and remembering the Native American culture moving forward.

“Reminds people of who we are and that we are still here and we’re not going anywhere,” says Faulk.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are among the cities across the country that officially changed Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. And now, October 10th, 2016 will always be known as Indigenous People’s Day in Duluth.