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Indigenous Peoples' Day

10/12/2020

WHEREAS, Native Americans have lived and thrived in North America from time immemorial; and

WHEREAS, Virginia is home to 11 state-recognized Indian tribes: the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indians Eastern Division, Mattaponi Indian Tribe, Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Tribe, Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia, Rappahannock Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe; and

WHEREAS, Seven of these tribes are federally recognized, including the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indians Eastern Division, Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Nation, Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Rappahannock Tribe, and Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous people contribute to the academic, economic, and cultural success and well-being of this Commonwealth each and every day; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous people in America have often suffered persecution and removal from their homelands at the hands of governing bodies and through the colonization and settlement of America; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous people are resilient and have continued to thrive and prosper to the present day; and

WHEREAS, in 1977, the International Conference on the Discrimination Against Indigenous People in the Americas first proposed the idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day; and

WHEREAS, in 1992, Berkeley, California become the first locality in the United States to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, Charlottesville and Falls Church were the first localities in the Commonwealth to declare the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, Alexandria and Richmond, the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, also recognized the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 12, 2020, as INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.