Cincinnati Council Fails To Approve Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct 5, 2016

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

Four council members voted in favor of the proposal, but five abstained.  The council rules say five votes, or a majority, are needed for passage.  

Before the vote, speaker Jheri Neri of Cincinnati Dayton asked council to support the resolution.

"We know how history was written then and we know how it has been corrected now," Neri said. "I urge Cincinnati to be on the right side of history, on the progressive side of history and to make Indigenous Peoples Day happen for the city of Cincinnati."

Supporters said the goal is to educate the public on the mass genocide of indigenous people in the Americas, and celebrate the historic and contemporary contributions.  

Council Member Charlie Winburn had concerns, but he did offer an alternative.

"If we had just a special day for that, I think you would probably end up getting a 9-0 vote on that," Winburn said.

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.  

Several communities across the country have adopted similar resolutions.