In recognition of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi’s presence in the Battle Creek area for hundreds of years, the City Commission unanimously designated the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day.
The commission took the action during Tuesday’s regular meeting. Commissioner Kate Flores led the conversation and actions toward the resolution.
The idea of Indigenous Peoples Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.
Today, a growing number of states, and Michigan municipalities, choose to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day, as an opportunity to celebrate the cultures, heritage, contributions, and resiliency of the Indigenous people across the United States.
The commission acknowledged that, while recognizing the valuable contributions of immigrants is important, related to the view of Columbus Day, it should not be at the expense of recognizing the experiences of the Indigenous people here.
This coming Monday, Oct. 12, will be the first observed Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of Battle Creek.
“Please, as a community, let’s celebrate, let’s learn, let’s connect with our Tribal neighbors and members here in our community,” Flores said during Tuesday’s meeting.
The city consulted over the last year with the NHBP to create the resolution in a meaningful and respectful way.
“On behalf of the sovereign Nation of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, I want to commend the city’s approval to observe Indigenous Peoples Day honoring our ancestors, traditions, culture, values, and history,” said Tribal Council Chairperson Jamie Stuck.
Both Stuck and Tribal Council Vice Chairperson Dorie Rios called into Tuesday’s commission meeting, to comment on the resolution.
“As a proud Tribal leader and lifelong resident of Battle Creek, I applaud this very positive step in recognizing and celebrating our continued Tribal presence and community partnership,” Rios said.