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Councilmember Nancy Navarro introduces Council resolution to recognize second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 20, 2020

Resolution call on Maryland General Assembly to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day as official state holiday and asks Montgomery County Public Schools to expand material on Native peoples in curriculum

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 20, 2020—On Tuesday, the Montgomery County Council will introduce a resolution to officially recognize the second Monday in October, which has historically been associated with Columbus Day, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The resolution was initiated by Councilmember Nancy Navarro and is sponsored by the full Council. October 12, 2020 would be the first day Indigenous Peoples’ Day is officially celebrated in Montgomery County. The resolution also directs all official calendars to be updated going forward.

The resolution also calls on the Maryland General Assembly to adopt this day as an official state holiday, and urges Montgomery County Public Schools to undergo a review of its curriculum to better incorporate the histories, narratives and cultures of the country’s Native peoples.

“I am proud to have spearheaded this resolution as issues of racial equity and social justice take center stage in our national dialogue even during a global pandemic. 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 notes that Christopher Columbus, for whom Columbus Day is named, is known to have committed numerous crimes against humanity against Native peoples in the Americas. Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day would help to move away from the legacy of racism and bigotry against Native peoples.

Maryland is home to many tribes recognized by the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs, including the Accohannock Indian Tribe; the Assateague Peoples Tribe; the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians; the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians; the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and sub-tribes; the Piscataway Indian Nation; the Pocomoke Indian Nation; and the Youghiogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians.

The resolution notes that more than 70 jurisdictions and seven states recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day, including the City of Takoma Park, Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-310
Media Contact: Ikhide Roland Ikheloa 240-777-7824