Whitmer declares Monday Indigenous Peoples Day

    Indigenous people at the Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality in Lansing, June 29, 2020 | Laina G. Stebbins

    As she did last year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed Monday Indigenous Peoples Day in Michigan.

    “… The resolution states that Indigenous Peoples Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land and to celebrate the thriving cultures and values that the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and other indigenous peoples contribute to society,” the proclamation reads. “… Whereas on this second Monday of October, we should honor the historic, cultural, and contemporary significance of Indigenous peoples and their ancestral lands that also became known as the Americas and celebrate their contributions to communities throughout Michigan, the United States, and all over the world.”

    Several states and cities have replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as an official holiday in order to honor Native Americans.

    Democrats have introduced legislation for Indigenous Peoples Day. Senate Bill 568 would establish a holiday that pays tribute to indigenous and native tribes and Senate Bill 569 would remove Columbus Day as a holiday and Election Day in November would become an official state holiday. Neither bill has been taken up by the Senate.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.