The Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday that will recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Typically, the second Monday of October is associated with Columbus Day, a holiday that has come under fire in recent years. According to the resolution, Columbus committed numerous crimes against Native peoples and recognizing the holiday will help disband the long history of racism targeting these groups.
Maryland is home to several indigenous tribes such as the Accohannock Indian Tribe, the Assateague Peoples Tribe and the Pocomoke Indian Nation.
Council approves resolution recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day which was initiated by Councilmember @nancy_navarro . Learn more: https://t.co/1PtOdhx5po . pic.twitter.com/Cz4SlkzOAO
— Montgomery Council (@MoCoCouncilMD) July 28, 2020
“While change is never easy, this Council has shown time and again that it is ready to take that next leap,” said Councilmember Nancy Navarro. “This is not about erasing history, but instead elevating traditionally silenced voices as part of our historical narrative. Our Native American Tribes deserve to have their stories told and their cultures celebrated.”
The resolution, initiated by Navarro, also calls on the Maryland General Assembly to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a state holiday and implores county schools to better incorporate the histories and narratives of indigenous people into their curriculum.
Over 70 different jurisdictions across seven states — including Takoma Park — currently recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Oct. 12, 2020 marks the first time Montgomery County will officially celebrate the holiday.