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Governor Declares 2nd Monday in October as "Indigenous People's Day"

Gov. Tony Evers, joined by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, signed Executive Order #50, declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Wisconsin. The executive order was signed on Tuesday at Indian Community School in Franklin.

“Through this executive order, we recognize and appreciate our tribal nations and Indigenous people and their resilience, wisdom, and the contributions they make to our state,” said Gov. Evers in a statement. “Native Americans in Wisconsin and throughout our country have suffered unjust treatment—often at the hands of our government—and today is about recognizing that Wisconsin would not be all that it is without Indigenous people.”


Dozens of cities, counties, universities, and a few states have already adopted Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that celebrates the historic, cultural, and contemporary contributions of Indigenous people.


In the executive order, Gov. Evers recognized the importance of the Native Nations to Wisconsin and reaffirmed the significance of Native Nations’ sovereignty, culture, and history.


“Today, we seek to recognize and honor our state’s Indigenous communities while moving beyond a dated practice that perpetuates inaccurate teachings and honors genocide,” Lt. Gov. Barnes said in a press release. “The story of Wisconsin’s Indigenous people has long been one of resistance and resilience. In the coming years, our administration will work to ensure that story evolves into one that includes respect and justice.”

EXECUTIVE ORDER #50


Relating to Declaring Indigenous Peoples Day


WHEREAS, Native Americans have inhabited this continent since time immemorial;


WHEREAS, Wisconsin is home to eleven federally-recognized Native Nations and one federally unrecognized nation, including: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Forest County Potawatomi, Ho-Chu nk Nation, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chip pewa, Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mole Lake (Sokaogon Chippewa Community) Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Saint Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, and Brothertown Indian Nation;


WHEREAS, throughout Wisconsin's history, Na t ive American leaders such as Aazhawigiizhigokwe, Great Chief Buffalo, Chief Oshkosh, Chief Yellow Thunder, Walter Bressette, Truman Lowe, Ada Deer, Patty Loew, and Ernie Stevens, have defended Native rights and promoted sovereignty and prosperity for their people;


WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin recognizes the historic, cultural, and contemporary significance of the Indigenous peoples of this region, without whom the building of the state and its cities would not have been possible;


WHEREAS, organizations like Great Lakes Inter -Tribal Council, Native American Tourism of Wisconsin, and the American Indian Chamber of Commerce promote the sovereignty, resilience, cultural richness, and success of Native Americans;


WHEREAS, the sovereignty of Wisconsin's Native Nations is affirmed in Executive Order #18 wherein the State of Wisconsin recognized our unique legal relationship with Native Nations and directed cabinet agencies to engage Native Nations with the same respect accorded to other governments;


WHEREAS, since 1991, with the passage of Wisconsin Act 31 of 1989, all public school districts and teacher training programs are required to provide instruction on the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of Wiscon sin 's eleven federally-recognized American Indian nations and tribal communities;


WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism toward Indigenous peoples in our state and in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality and exacerbates disproportionate health, education, and social outcomes;

WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin is committed to closing the equity gap for Native Americans through policy and practices and ensuring access to opportunity for Na ti ve Americans and their communities;


WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin recognizes the historical sacrifices of Indigenous peoples and greatly values the social, economic, and cultural contributions they make; and


WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples Day was first proposed in 1977 by the International Conference on Discrimination Against the Indigenous Population in the Americas, a delegation sponsored by First Nations leaders in the United States.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the Sta te , hereby:


1. Declare the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin.


2. Recognize the immense importance of the Native Nations to this state, and reaffirm the significance of the Native Nations' sovereignty, culture, an.d history.


3. Recommit to the state's efforts to promote the well-being and growth of Wisconsin's Native American communities.


4. In addition to requirements under 1989 Wisconsin Act 31 mandating public school instruction on Wisconsin's Native Nations , strongly encourage Wisconsin schools and educators to use Indigenous Peoples Day as an opportunity to engage students across the state on the importance of Native American history, culture, and tribal sovereignty.


5. Strongly encourage Wiscon sin businesses, organizations, public institutions, and local governments to recognize and celebrate indigenous peoples and cultivate strong relationships with Wisconsin Native Nations .


6 . Strongly encourage all Wisconsinites to be in solidarity with indigenous peoples throughout the state.