Indigenous People’s Day named in OK City

October 8, 2018 by  

David Holt, mayor of Oklahoma City, has proclaimed October 8 is now Indigenous Peoples Day in the city.

In 2015 and 2016, Native American advocates in Oklahoma City asked for October’s second Monday to be Indigenous Peoples Day. In 2015, the council agreed to create IPD, but could not agree on the date.

In 2016, a group of 15 people discussed proposals with the council to either name August 9 or the second October Monday as IPD. The latter was the popular opinion due to Christopher Columbus Day being at the same time. The speakers also proposed abolishing Christopher Columbus Day, although council denied these proposals.

The council rejected both ideas when Mick Cornett was the mayor. In April, Holt started as the city’s 36th mayor. Last year, advocates did not bring up the issue in anticipation for Holt winning the election.

Holt is the first mayor of the city with Native American heritage, and is an Osage Nation member. One of the guests at Holt’s swearing-in event was Geoffrey Standing Bear, the Principal Chief.

Holt, 39, said he wanted to focus on the future and unity despite the differences between the people of the city. Behind his desk, he hung a Native American artist’s painting of a buffalo. To celebrate their heritage, some Native Americans officials choose to add details to their letterheads, such as Osage symbols and simple art.