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“Oklahoma City needs to make a change,” Native American organizations push for ‘Indigenous Peoples Day’

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahomans are coming together to speak out in support of 'Indigenous Peoples Day.'

Several Native American organizations gathered Monday morning in front of Oklahoma City's City Hall to celebrate and show support for Indigenous Peoples Day in Oklahoma City.

"We thought Tulsa made a change, Oklahoma City needs to make a change," said John Russel, who is a member of the Osage Nation and Comanche Nation.

Oklahomans gathered at city hall on Monday for a peaceful protest.

"Every major city in Oklahoma is celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day, except Oklahoma City," said Brenda Golden, a local activist.

The cities have declared the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day, or Native American Day.

"We like to celebrate people's events and things that happen in our history when really it was already here; indigenous peoples were already here," Russell said.

"It has failed twice at the city council level as a resolution just to recognize Indigenous People's Day," Golden said.

Some council members have been all for it and some on the fence each year.

"Oklahoma means red people, and yet we can't be recognized here in Oklahoma City, one of the major cities that should be recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day," Golden said.

​City officials released a statement regarding the matter:

"It’s important to know The City of Oklahoma City does not recognize Columbus Day – it’s business as usual in City Hall. Having said that, City Council has discussed replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day for years. Each councilperson has his or her own personal position on the subject, but no agreement on how to best recognize Indigenous People’s Day has been reached. What they can agree on is that Oklahoma’s Indigenous People make significant contributions, both culturally and economically, to our City.​"