Ithaca passes resolution for Indigenous Peoples' Day
The Ithaca Common Council unanimously passed a resolution to acknowledge the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples' Day rather than Columbus Day.
2nd Ward Alderman Ducson Nguyen says the move is symbolic and meant to inspire people to celebrate contributions made by indigenous people who lived in the area long before European exploration took over.
"It's a long time coming...the lake that the city sits on is named after them. We're on their burial ground, their culture still pervades this area. It made more sense to honor their history on that day than a settler who had very little to do with the culture here," Nguyen said.
At The History Center in Tompkins County there are preserved artifacts from the Cayuga Nation which was part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. There is evidence showing members of these tribes lived along Cayuga Lake as early as 11,000 B.C.E.
Many in Ithaca applauded the move:
"I have thought that this should be the case for a long time, and I'm so glad the council acted on that and made it happen," Bettsie Park said.
"I think that it's time to go back to acknowledging that there were some not very proud moments in American history and that was one of them," said Joseph Arguello.