(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 9/27/2016) – The Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) today expressed disappointment in the City Council of Oklahoma Cityâ€™s decision not to recognize Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day as the second Monday in October.
Despite a room full of activists and supporters urging the City Council to pass a resolution naming the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day, the measure failed by a 6-3 vote, with Councilmen Ed Shadid (Ward 2), John Pettis (Ward 7), and Pete White (Ward 4) standing as the only votes in favor.
CAIR-OK Operations and Events Coordinator Anna Facci said:
â€œIt is disheartening and frustrating to see the Oklahoma City mayor and city council willfully ignore the requests of its constituents. Though more than a dozen people, including indigenous and non-indigenous folks in solidarity from across the state, spoke in favor of the measure, the mayor and the city council refused to participate in healing the historical trauma of colonization. I have never seen a body of government so quickly dismiss the concerns of its constituents. We will be standing in solidarity with the Native community until the day that Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day is recognized in OKC and across the state.â€
This is the second year that local activists have tried to have Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day recognized. The measure failed last year in a 5-4 vote
NO â€œDAYâ€ FOR YOU! OKC City Council sends clear message to indigenous community
The date proposed by Native American activists and community organizers, the second Monday in October, was deliberately chosen as a counter-celebration to Columbus Day, which is still recognized as a federal holiday. This year, speakers in support of the resolution noted that major universities across the state now recognize Indigenous Peoplesâ€™ Day on this date, as do cities such as Albuquerque, NM; Seattle, WA; and St. Paul, MN.
â€œMany Oklahoma Muslims identify as indigenous and/or Native American, and it is important for CAIR-OK to stand in solidarity with our diverse community members,â€ said Adam Soltani, CAIR-OK executive director. â€œWe support the efforts of our Native American brothers and sisters and hope that the city council will reconsider their position. We also encourage our community to contact your City Council member and let them know how you feel about this very important issue.â€
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
– END –
CAIR Oklahoma Operations and Events Coordinator Anna Facci, 918-269-7924, email@example.com, CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, email@example.com