MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on Monday proclaimed October 9 as Indigenous Peoples Day, a day normally celebrated as Columbus Day around the U.S.
“I’m incredibly proud that Milwaukee County is officially recognizing and appreciating the contributions of native thought, culture, and technology in our society,” Abele said. “I’m also proud that the next generation of Milwaukeeans cares so deeply about learning our true history and using their voice to enact change.”
Dozens of cities and counties around the nation have begun to recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day over arguments about Columbus' treatment of native people during his explorations, as well his connections to the creation of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Fourth graders at Indian Community School of Milwaukee in Franklin drafted a resolution last fall to support the name change. County Board Supervisor John Weishan, Jr. sponsored it, and it was approved and signed into law last December.
"Milwaukee County joins more than 20 communities nationwide, including the City of Madison and Dane County, which will now commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead on the same day as the federal Columbus Day holiday," the county's news release announcing the proclamation says.