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Mayor Proclaims Indigenous Peoples’ Day Honoring Native and First Peoples of Boise

 

Boise’s Native and First people, elected officials and many others gathered Monday for songs, invocations and remarks in celebration of Mayor David Bieter’s proclamation of Indigenous People’s Day in the City of Boise.

“The City of Boise recognizes the vast contribution made by Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge, science, philosophy, arts and culture, which have helped the City of Boise develop and thrive,” Mayor Bieter said, reading from the proclamation.

The ceremony and proclamation celebrated the history and contributions of Native and First Peoples to the Boise community, and recognized historical injustices committed against indigenous people. Boise is first city in the state of Idaho proclaim the second Monday in October – traditionally Columbus Day – as Indigenous People’s Day. It joins more than 50 cities, states, and universities now proclaim the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day, rather than Christopher Columbus Day.

A copy of the proclamation can be found here.

“As our beautiful city grapples with pressing issues of growth and development, I ground my decisions as a city council member by considering the original inhabitants of Boise, and how they were once violently displaced to accommodate newcomers to their land,” said council member Lisa Sánchez. “As a Chicana, I admire my cousins, who are the Boise Vallley People, and by whose continued grace our great city continues to make room for more of our brothers and sisters.”

More than 200 people joined the mayor, city council members, leaders and representatives from the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Fort Hall, Idaho), Shoshone-Paiute Tribes (Duck Valley, Idaho) and a representative of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs for the ceremony and proclamation.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Day proclamation is the culmination of efforts between both Native American and non-Native community members in the Treasure Valley. Boise City Councilmember TJ Thomson initiated advocacy efforts on behalf of the tribes in 2015. Since her election last November, Councilmember Sánchez continues this work at the city level.

 

In 1977 a delegation of Native Nations, at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, proposed and passed a resolution renaming Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to honor the victims of colonization and the contemporary contributions of Native Americans.

On June 14, Mayor Bieter, City Council President Lauren McLean, and Councilmember Sánchez, along with members of the community, welcomed the descendants of the original Boise Valley people back to the city, the first time since their forcible removal by soldiers from the Boise Valley in 1869. As part of the celebration, a historical exhibition prepared by Lori-Edmo Suppah about the original Boise Valley people was installed in the City Hall Lobby, which is still on display.


Published: October 11, 2018