MONTGOMERY – Mayor Steven L. Reed proclaimed the City of Montgomery would recognize Indigenous Peoples Day annually beginning October 12, 2020.
The Proclamation affirms that the City of Montgomery and the State of Alabama were founded and built upon the lands first inhabited by the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw Nations; and seeks to be an inclusive community that acknowledges indigenous people, seeks to heal from past systemic racism and injustices and promotes appreciation, reconciliation, friendship and partnership.
The City of Montgomery joins five other cities in Alabama (Tuskegee, Florence, Sheffield, Athens, and Rogersville) and many communities across the nation who recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. The growing movement seeks to change the narrative by upholding truth in history and acknowledging indigenous contributors and the resilience of Native Americans.
The Alabama Indigenous Coalition, a Native-led nonprofit focused on equity and building a global awareness regarding Indigenous education, is honored to be involved in this process with the City of Montgomery.
“We are thankful and commend Mayor Steven L. Reed for this acknowledgement and accept this proclamation on behalf of our Indigenous relatives removed by the Trail of Tears and also the remaining Indigenous people in Alabama and nationwide. Going forward, we are excited to partner with local organizations to bring more inclusive programs into our Capital city and surrounding areas regarding Indigenous issues, culture and history,” said Valerie Adams, Oglala Lakota, Alabama Indigenous Coalition Co-founder/President.
“This is a great start and a move towards progression. We are slowly beginning to gain our footprint back in the State of Alabama,” said Tori Jackson, Mvskoke, Co-founder/Vice President of Advancement for the Alabama Indigenous Coalition.
The Alabama Indigenous Coalition will sponsor two Indigenous Peoples Day events, one virtual and one in-person over the weekend. The Virtual Indigenous Peoples Day event will take place Sunday, October 11 from 2-4 p.m. with guest speakers Amber Starks (Melanin Mvskoke), Kate Herrera-Jenkins (Chochiti Pueblo), Brok “Chata Tuska” Weaver (MOWA) and Turner Hunt (Muscogee Creek). Additionally, there will be a “StrongerTogether” Indigenous Peoples Day event in downtown Montgomery on Monday, October 12 from 3-6 p.m. with guest speaker Kate Herrera-Jenkins of Native Strength Revolution, and songs and dancing by Mystic Wind Choctaw Social Dance Club & Southern Pine Drum Group from Philadelphia, MS. Following the celebration, there will be a silent commemorative Trail of Tears walk to the Capitol. Registration and more information is available at the Alabama Indigenous Coalition Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alabamaindigenouscoalition).
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