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Mpls. Celebrates ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’ Instead of ‘Columbus Day’
Updated: 10/13/2014 7:28 AM
Created: 10/12/2014 2:17 PM KSTP.com
By: Kate Renner
The calendar may say “Columbus Day” on Monday, but for the first time ever the city of Minneapolis is celebrating a counter-celebration called “Indigenous Peoples Day.”
Supporters say it’s been a long time coming for the community’s American Indian people.
“We still have some identity here,” Anishinaabe White Earth Reservation tribal member Robert Rice said.
Rice opened up “Pow Wow Grounds” coffee shop on East Franklin Avenue to start a Native American business in the American Indian Cultural Corridor.
Rice says that identity takes a hit every year on the second Monday of October, also known as Columbus Day.
“To have him recognized every year is more like a slap in the face to us Native Americans,” Rice said.
“To say that Columbus discovered America is truly a joke in itself,” Leech Lake Ojibwe tribal member Ed Sayers said.
For the first time ever, the city of Minneapolis is serious about recognizing someone else – the people who already lived here.
“It’s not a day of discovery; it’s more of a day of declaration for the indigenous people that have been here long before anybody else supposedly discovered the country,” Sayers said.
The first-ever Indigenous Peoples Day celebration will be held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center and includes indigenous cuisine and cultural performances.
“It’s nice to have a day, and it’s nice to finally have that recognition from the local government,” Sayers said.
The city council voted unanimously back in April for the holiday change, joining Berkley, California, Denver, Colorado and Seattle, Washington. Now, they’re setting their sights on bringing the movement to the federal level.
The inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day celebration is from 4-7 p.m. Monday.