MADISON, Wis. - Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes signed an executive order Tuesday that declares the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day in the state.
According to the news release, Executive Order No. 50 was signed at Indian Community School in Franklin.
“Through this executive order, we recognize and appreciate our tribal nations and Indigenous people and their resilience, wisdom, and the contributions they make to our state," Evers said in a prepared, written statement. “Native Americans in Wisconsin and throughout our country have suffered unjust treatment—often at the hands of our government—and today is about recognizing that Wisconsin would not be all that it is without Indigenous people.”
“Today, we seek to recognize and honor our state’s Indigenous communities while moving beyond a dated practice that perpetuates inaccurate teachings and honors genocide,” Barnes said. “The story of Wisconsin’s Indigenous people has long been one of resistance and resilience. In the coming years, our administration will work to ensure that story evolves into one that includes respect and justice.”
Evers and Barnes have asked businesses, organizations, public institutions and local governments in Wisconsin to be in solidarity with indigenous people through this executive order.
Wisconsin is home to 11 recognized American Indian tribes.
Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill says the change has been a long time coming and can serve as an educational tool about tribal culture and history.
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