Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a proclamation declaring Monday Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Michigan.
“… 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,” Whitmer’s proclamation reads.
There’s been a growing national movement to honor Native Americans with a holiday. Eight states currently recognize a form of Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Dakota and Vermont.
So do dozens of cities, including six in Michigan: Alpena, Detroit, East Lansing, Ferndale, Southfield and Traverse City.
As the Michigan Advance reported last week, Democrats have introduced legislation in the state Senate 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.
“Our democracy works best when everyone participates and votes,” said SB 569 sponsor state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak). “By honoring and celebrating Election Day as an official state holiday, we will enshrine civic duty and allow more Michiganders to participate in the democratic process that keeps our government churning.”