SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Mayor Van Johnson declared the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day — a move becoming more popular among cities and states across the nation.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is meant to honor the cultures and achievements of native people from around the states that have been overlooked in the past. A growing number of states and cities have begun celebrating both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day in conjunction or ditching Columbus Day outright.
“It is important that history adequately and accurately reflects our entire story,” Johnson says. “While we recognize the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus in 1492, we must also recognize the corresponding struggles of the Native Peoples of the Americas. We are nurturing a beloved, unified community that will respect the values and culture of our neighbors and ensure that everyone has a seat at Savannah’s table.”
Friday, President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day — marking the first of its kind in the United States and lending a huge boost to advocates of the holiday.
Out of nearly 11 million Georgians — 2%, or more than 214,000 — are American Indian or Alaska Native, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.