Johnson County and Iowa City declare Indigenous People's Day
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ia (CBS2/FOX28) —
Johnson County declared that from now on, Columbus Day will be recognized as Indigenous People's Day.
Iowa City also made the proclamation Tuesday, falling in line with dozens of cities across the United States.
Monday will still be recognized as Columbus Day on a statewide level, but in Iowa City and Johnson county, it's going to be a day to reflect on the rich culture of indigenous people.
"The Ioway tribe was actually the tribe here originally and that's where the state gets its name, says conservation administration specialist, Gale Barels.
Barels says this move by Johnson County and Iowa city is bringing cultures back together to raise more awareness, giving people more of a reason to reflect on the rich culture of Indigenous peoples.
It's also shedding light on a darker reality for those who inhabited North America when settlers first arrived bringing disease and genocide.
"In their thinking.. Columbus wasn't a hero-- he was more of a villain. Many new diseases arrived that killed 90% of the population."
"There's a lot of history between our country and indigenous people that's really shameful, says Johnson County Supervisor, Mike Carberry.
Iowa city Mayor Jim Throgmorton agrees, "The proclamation seeking to honor and remember the fact that this territory and the area use to be occupied by other humans... their culture deserves remembrance and celebration."