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Cincinnati Council May Vote On Indigenous Peoples Day

The full Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday on a resolution asking people to recognize Monday's federal holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.  

Supporters say the policy would better reflect the experiences of American Indian people and uplift the country's indigenous roots.  

Christina Brown is with the city's human relations commission.  She told a city council committee Monday it is a growing trend across the country.

"A lot folks are unaware of how indigenous peoples have contributed to the country, but also some of the things that they experienced in terms of genocide and displacement," Brown said. "So we're hoping to use this day as a catalyst to begin to educate folks on the history, to talk about the contemporary issues and to move towards reconciliation."

The idea of Indigenous Peoples Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of native nations to a conference sponsored by the United Nations.

Council Member Chris Seelbach is supportive and said it is about more than symbolism.

"Because I think it will get people thinking, it will get people thinking about our history, about what is true and not true, what we're taught and maybe sometimes that we're taught things that aren't true," Seelbach said. "I think this is a great step for the city of Cincinnati to again be a leader when it comes to valuing all members of our community."

A number of cities and other public agencies across the country have passed similar resolutions, but officials say Cincinnati would be the first in Ohio to make the designation.  


Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.