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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves resolution initiated by Councilmember Navarro to recognize second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Resolution calls 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 28, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a resolution to officially recognize the second Monday in October, which has historically been associated with Columbus Day, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The resolution, which was initiated by Councilmember Nancy Navarro and sponsored by the full Council, makes October 12, 2020 the first Indigenous Peoples’ Day to be officially celebrated in Montgomery County. The resolution 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,” said Councilmember Navarro, who is chair of the Council's Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. "While change is never easy, this Council has shown time and again that it is ready to take that next leap. 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 resolution and Council staff report can be viewed here . 

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Release ID: 20-332
Media Contact: Ikhide Roland Ikheloa 240-777-7824 , Bertha Cerzosimo 240-777-7986