Whitmer proclaims Monday Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Michigan

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | Andrew Roth

    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.

    Michigan sees efforts to establish Indigenous Peoples’ Day

    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.”

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    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.

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