WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For the second year in a row, the city of Wichita is observing Indigenous Peoples Day, rather than Columbus Day.
Federal offices are closed in observation of Columbus Day.
A spokesperson for the Native American Community Resource Coalition tells KSN that over 90 different tribes are represented within Wichita.
“We’re still here, still present and we still have struggles and the community part is bringing us together,” Newman Washington said.
Washington says indigenous people grapple with the concept of Columbus Day.
“As indigenous people…it’s like should we celebrate that genocide?” Washington said.
The Native American community came together over the weekend for a memorial Trail of Tears walk, held at the Mid-America All-Indian Center.
Though the actual Trail of Tears only involved a few tribes, the concept is widely familiar to all Native Americans.
By observing Indigenous Peoples Day, Washington said the city is honoring the indigenous values.
“By them signing that proclamation, it went nationwide throughout Indian country that we’re one of the cities you know, like Colorado and some in California, some in Minnesota that are bringing back some of the historical truths to the communities,” Washington said.
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