County Recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Today, the County Council and County Executive Marc Elrich announced that this Monday, October 12 will be officially recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and it will continue to be recognized annually by the county.

The decision, which was brought to the council by Councilmember Nancy Navarro, was met with unanimous support. This day, which had traditionally been associated with Columbus Day, will recognize and celebrate the “stories and cultures of our Native communities,” Navarro said.

“This proclamation marks a long overdue change in how we celebrate the second Monday in October,” Elrich said in a press release. “As our County grapples with racial and social justice inequities, we need to recognize that too much of the story of this country has been misrepresented, and it is time to correct that story.  This country was not ’discovered’ by Christopher Columbus; it was already occupied by people with a rich collection of knowledge, stories and practices. Observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the original occupants of these lands, their cultures and the sacrifices they were forced to make.”

Today, the County Council and County Executive Marc Elrich announced that this Monday, October 12 will be officially recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and will continue to be recognized annually by the county.

The decision, which was brought to the council by Councilmember Nancy Navarro, was met with unanimous support. This day, which had traditionally been associated with Columbus Day, will recognize and celebrate the “stories and cultures of our Native communities,” Navarro said.

“This proclamation marks a long overdue change in how we celebrate the second Monday in October,” Elrich said in a press release, supporting Navarro’s sentiment. “As our County grapples with racial and social justice inequities, we need to recognize that too much of the story of this country has been misrepresented, and it is time to correct that story.  This country was not ’discovered’ by Christopher Columbus; it was already occupied by people with a rich collection of knowledge, stories and practices. Observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the original occupants of these lands, their cultures and the sacrifices they were forced to make.”

The press release also listed Native American tribes of Maryland that the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs has recognized. This includes the Accohannock Indian Tribe, the Assateague Peoples Tribe, the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians, the Piscataway Conoy Tribes, the Piscataway Conoy Confederacy and Subtribes and the Cedarville Band of Piscataway Indians, the Pocomoke Indian Nation, and the Youghiogheny River Band of Shawnee Indians.

A list of Native Americans of Maryland and their histories can be found on the state archive’s website at https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/01glance/native/html/00list.html.

By Adam Levine

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