OKLAHOMA CITY – Mayor David Holt signed a proclamation on Monday declaring October 8, 2018, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Oklahoma City, adding the city to dozens around the nation that acknowledge Native Americans on the day known nationally as Columbus Day.
“Whether called Indigenous, Native, Native American, or American Indian, we value the contributions made by our citizens of Indigenous heritage, as we value all people,” Holt said on Twitter.
He went on to say:
“As Mayor, I routinely declare a variety of ceremonial days, weeks & months, typically upon request. This a responsibility I take seriously but I also don’t view the commemoration of important things in our community as a finite resource. A few years ago, the idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was presented & became an annual source of argument. This seemed unfortunate considering OKC’s relatively high Indigenous population & the fact that a similar day has been declared in cities across the nation, including in OK. Oklahoma has a unique history and Oklahoma City is inextricably tied to that history. We are proud to be the capital city of a state that is the home of 39 tribes. We are proud that our city’s history is preceded by many, many centuries of Indigenous history. Oklahoma City is proud to be the future home of the American Indian Cultural Center, the future home of Sovereign Community School, the home of Red Earth, the home of Sovereignty Symposium, and I’m proud to be the City’s first Native Mayor (Osage).”
Whether called Indigenous, Native, Native American, or American Indian, we value the contributions made by our citizens of Indigenous heritage, as we value all people. And so, I have just signed a proclamation declaring October 8th to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day in OKC. #1OKC pic.twitter.com/wQpSQLFpie
— Mayor David Holt (@davidfholt) September 24, 2018
At least three Oklahoma cities, Tulsa, Norman and Tahlequah already recognize the day, but efforts to do the same in Oklahoma City have failed.
The Oklahoma City Council repeatedly turned down requests for the day in recent years. City spokeswoman Kristy Yager says Holt’s proclamation eliminates the need for the issue to go before the council again.