Yesterday, the Common Council approved legislation designating the second Monday of October each year as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in the City of Milwaukee.
The legislation (Common Council File # 171304), was authored by Alderwoman Chantia Lewis and co-sponsored by Alderman José G. Pérez , Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, Alderman Cavalier Johnson, Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II, Alderman Khalif J. Rainey, Alderman Nik Kovac and Council President Ashanti Hamilton.
“The Native American community has meant so much to Milwaukee, and I’m grateful for all the support of my colleagues to help establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day every October. This is truly a great way to celebrate the history, culture and positive impact that indigenous people have had in our community throughout history. It is also a nod to their strength and perseverance during times of discrimination, oppression and injustice,” Alderwoman Lewis said.
Several communities throughout the U.S. have recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day, including the City of Madison in 2005 and again in 2016, and Milwaukee County and Dane County in 2017.
The legislation notes how Native Americans have existed in Wisconsin for more than 10,000 years and how they continue to play an important role in Wisconsin’s communities, culture, and economy. The state is home to 11 Indigenous tribes and 86,000 Native Americans, and each tribe positively contributes to local and state economies, including the Chippewa, Menominee, and Potawatomi in Milwaukee.