Traverse City Commission Votes in Indigenous Peoples Day: Columbus Stays

Boardman River in Traverse City

Boardman River in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN — In an apparent effort to appease both sides of the Columbus Day issue, the city commission of Traverse City, Michigan voted this past Monday evening to approve a resolution to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day along with Columbus Day on the second Monday in October each year.

Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes was quick to point out the resolution does not abolish or alter the city’s recognition of Columbus Day, a federal holiday; nor will it alter or impact any city services.

Traverse City is located sixteen miles south of Peshawbestown, Michigan, home the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB). Last fall the Tribe passed a resolution to drop Columbus Day and replaced it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

“Monday night’s action by the Traverse City Commission, through a unanimous vote of support, recognizes the efforts by many to have Indigenous Peoples Day recognized. From actions by Idle No More Michigan, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and numerous local citizens.  The Traverse City Commission has taken positive action to increase awareness and promotion of understanding regarding Indigenous People; from contributions pre-dating European contact to modern day,” commented GTB Tribal Councilor Derek Bailey to Native News Online.

“Regardless how it is viewed, this is a positive moment. We must continue to work together on creating opportunities for change that brings with it positive results,” Bailey continued.

Communities across the United States, including Seattle, Berkeley and Minneapolis, have adopted resolutions that replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

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