(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 City’s decision not to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day as the second Monday in October.

Oklahoma City council rejects Indigenous Peoples Day for second year

Despite a room full of activists and supporters urging the City Council to pass a resolution naming the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ 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:

“It 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 Peoples’ Day is recognized in OKC and across the state.”

This is the second year that local activists have tried to have Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognized. The measure failed last year in a 5-4 vote

NO “DAY” 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 Peoples’ Day on this date, as do cities such as Albuquerque, NM; Seattle, WA; and St. Paul, MN.

“Many 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,” said Adam Soltani, CAIR-OK executive director. “We 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.”

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 misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Oklahoma Operations and Events Coordinator Anna Facci, 918-269-7924, afacci@cair.com, CAIR Oklahoma Executive Director Adam Soltani, 405-248-5853, asoltani@cair.com; CAIR Oklahoma Civil Rights Director Veronica Laizure, 405-430-9877, vlaizure@cair.com.