EUGENE, Ore. – Lane County commissioners voted Tuesday to declare the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The move follows similar declarations from the cities of Springfield, Eugene, Corvallis, and Portland and the State of Oregon.
“In spite of what many of us were taught as children, Christopher Columbus did not ‘discover’ the Americas. There were thriving and vibrant Indigenous cultures across this continent long before Europeans arrived,” said Board Chair Joe Berney. “This declaration is one step toward recognizing the many contributions Indigenous people have made to our community, particularly the Kalapuya peoples whose traditional homeland is where Lane County now stands.”
The Board of County Commissioners said they drafted the declaration with help from Indigenous community leaders. It reads, in part:
“Lane County shall utilize the second Monday in October as an opportunity to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people of this land, to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region, and to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples elsewhere.”
The concept of Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations at a United Nations conference.