On Monday, from 4 to 8 p.m., Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles will host Indigenous performers, lecturers, and a food festival in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day. During the festivities, City Hall will also be illuminated in turquoise.
The event will be hosted by Wyandotte Nation member and Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. They wrote the 2017 ordinance designating the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles and displacing Columbus Day as a city holiday.
Los Angeles County also established an Indigenous Peoples Day holiday to replace Columbus Day.
One of her sacred obligations as an elected person has been to raise the visibility, dignity, and representation of Native Americans and indigenous people, said O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation and the first Native American to serve on the Los Angeles City Council.
Los Angeles was constructed on native land. Where a Tongva village had stood is now the location of the Civic Center. It was crucial for Los Angeles to replace a day honouring a person who never even set foot in the country and whose entry into the Americas served as the impetus for centuries of genocide against Native Americans with a day honouring First Nations and indigenous people.
The 2017 ordinance also paved the way for O’Farrell to introduce the Indigenous Land Initiative in 2021, a set of regulations that includes a formal apology from the city to Native American tribes for instances of violence, mistreatment, and neglect committed by the town or which the city was associated. The 2018 removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from Grand Park and the 2021 introduction of the Indigenous Land Initiative were made possible by the 2017 ordinance.
Libraries, as well as city and county offices, will be closed on Monday. Courts in Los Angeles County will be accessible. Native American Day on September 23 caused them to be completed.
Schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be open. Both Metrolink trains and Metrolink buses will operate on a regular schedule.
“On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we honor the sovereignty, resilience, and immense contributions that Native Americans have made to the world, and we recommit to upholding our solemn trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations, strengthening our nation-to-nation ties,” President Joe Biden said in his proclamation designating Monday as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Indigenous peoples have been evicted from their ancestral lands, relocated, assimilated, and forbidden from practising numerous spiritual rituals for generations. Nevertheless, they continue to be some of our best environmental stewards today.
“They continue to hold sincere religious convictions that nourish our country. And they have chosen to serve in the United States Armed Forces at a higher rate than any other group. The contributions made by Native Americans to law, the arts, public service, and other fields have helped us move forward and challenge us to face our past and do better.”
It is still a government holiday on Columbus Day. Federal courts will be closed, and there won’t be any mail delivery. Several banks are anticipated to be completed as well.