Published December 16, 2016
MILWAUKEE – On Thursday, December 15, 2916, the Milwaukee County Board adopted a resolution to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a means to recognize the “powerful and unique languages” of the 11 federally recognized American Indian tribes in Wisconsin.
The commemoration occurs on the same day annually as does Columbus Day.
The resolution was approved by a 16 – 1 vote.
The measure does not go as far others adopted in cities, such as Minneapolis or Seattle where Columbus Day is replaced. However, resolution states that early European colonists “decimated” populations of native people they encountered on Caribbean Islands by “enslavement, execution, and disease.” The resolution further recognizes Indigenous peoples lived in North America, and in what is now Milwaukee County, “long before the first European explorers reached the region.”
Two dozen students from Indian Community School in Franklin, Wisconsin were present to observe to resolution adopted.