Oklahoma Celebrates First Official Native American Day


Monday, October 14th 2019, 6:09 pm
By: Storme Jones


For the first time across the state, Monday was officially Native American Day.

After being vetoed by former Gov. Mary Fallin in 2018, Gov. Kevin Stitt approved the designation to make every second Monday in October Native American Day.

"Let us acknowledge the indigenous land on which our communities reside," Choctaw Citizen Sarah Adams-Cornell said.

While the state has designated the second Monday in October as "Native American Day," several cities across the state joined the growing trend of adopting "Indigenous Peoples' Day."

"Whether called Indigenous, Native American, American Indian, Native or First American, people of indigenous decent are strong contributors to modern Oklahoma City," Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said.

The day, which falls on the federal holiday Columbus Day, celebrates and honors Native American people and recognizes the arrival of the Italian explorer was followed by centuries of genocide against indigenous populations.

"Our community is dedicated to opposing racism, supports deeper respect for tribal sovereignty and supports a higher awareness of challenges facing indigenous peoples including the social crises of missing and murdered indigenous women," Holt said.

Holt is the city's first Native American mayor of Oklahoma City and Stitt is the first governor in the country who is a member of a Native American tribe. Holt is Osage and Stitt is Cherokee.

"This is such a special time in Oklahoma City's history for indigenous and Native culture. When you think of the American Indian Cultural Center, when you think of Sovereign School, now this new tradition of Indigenous Peoples' Day," Holt said.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia now celebrate the Native American people. Six of them made the change over the past year.