It was all smiles for supporters outside the City Commission meeting room.
Published April 20, 2016
LAWRENCE, KANSAS — Lawrence City Commission voted unanimously to adopt Resolution No. 7154 establishing Indigenous Peoples Day as an annual recurring event in Lawrence.
“I think this a very special time to be able to pass such a resolution,” said Mayor Mike Amyx. “I was very proud last October but I’m probably even more proud this evening to be able to help pass this resolution.”
Haskell students along with members of the Lawrence community drafted a proclamation in that was read by Mayor Amyx recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day on October 12, 2015. The resolution today will establish Indigenous Peoples Day the second Monday of October on an annual basis.
Lawrence City Commission left to right: Lisa Larsen, Leslie Soden, Mike Amyx, and Matthew Herbert.
“I’m really proud to be sitting here as one of the commissioners that is accomplishing this…I think this is a really important step for our City, especially since we have Haskell in our city,” said Vice Mayor, Leslie Soden.
Haskell student, Barbara Wolfin, spoke in front of the City Commission along with community member, Amy Bouseman in support of the resolution. Both played large roles in getting the October 2015 proclamation to City Hall.
“I feel very humbled by the process and the confirmation of Indigenous Peoples Day being passed as an annual recurring event. I think that we have made history in a short amount of time, so when people say you can’t do things I beg to differ,” said Wolfin. “I’m just very thankful for the opportunity and for the encouragement of Dr. Wildcat and other faculty and staff at Haskell.”
One person who addressed the commission asked if the day would be added to the school district calendars. Mayor Amyx said it would be up to the district. Commissioner, Matthew Herbert volunteered to communicate the information to district officials.
Haskell student, Mariah May also attended the City Commission meeting. “I think it’s exciting just to hear that it was a unanimous decision by all four members of the commission and for them to say, ‘It’s about time that we recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.’ It’s exciting to be a part of it and to witness and experience it,” said May.
Students and community members are planning to continue the Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in the Fall.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Indian Leader, the newspaper of Haskell Indian Nations University. Used with permission. All rights reserved.