FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — The City of Fresno officially proclaims Oct. 11 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which intentionally coincides with Columbus Day to reflect on the dark past of Native American tribes in the Central Valley.
The celebration was sponsored by Fresno City councilmembers Nelson Esparza, Esmeralda Soria, and Tyler Maxwell. The councilmembers, along with mayor Jerry Dyer, joined community leaders for an outdoor celebration for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in front of City Hall.
Fresno City Council Vice President Nelson Esparza says the recognition has been a long time coming.
“Today was a historic day for the city of Fresno,” says Fresno City Council Vice President Nelson Esparza. “It was the first time the city really acknowledged and celebrated indigenous peoples’ day, here in Fresno.”
“It means a lot to be provided a platform here at city hall to tell their stories of their tribes and families and their communities, and all they have contributed to their community and state for thousands of years,” he adds.
Below is a copy of the proclamation by the city of Fresno:
Darlene Franco with the Fresno American Indian Health Project, which provides resources for the health and wellness tribal communities in the Central Valley, says she is grateful for the recognition.
“I like that it’s a recognition for our people, for the indigenous people to this land,” says Franco.
The Central Valley sits on ancestral lands, traditionally home to the Maidu, Miwok, and Yukots tribes.
President Biden is the first president in the country’s 245-year history to officially recognize the day.
The designation does not raise Indigenous People’s Day to federal holiday status.