Coachella is the first Coachella Valley city to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day Holiday
COACHELLA – This community of approximately 46,351 residents is the first city in the Coachella Valley to recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day.
The Eastern Coachella Valley is home to third largest population of the P’urhépechas, an indigenous tribe from the Mexican state of Michoacán. They form a significant part of the agricultural workforce in Coachella, which is the largest classification of employment in the city.
“Our indigenous sisters and brothers were here first,” Mayor Steven Hernandez told Uken Report. “We honor, remember and thank them. Coachella is by your side,”
The idea was first proposed by Indigenous peoples at a United Nations conference in 1977 held to address discrimination against Natives, as NPR has reported. But South Dakota became the first state to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1989, officially celebrating it the following year.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday in the United States that celebrates and honors Native American peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. On Oct. 8, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden became the first U.S. President to formally recognize the holiday, by signing a presidential proclamation declaring Oct. 11, 2021, to be a national holiday. It is celebrated across the United States on the second Monday in October and is an official city and state holiday in various localities.
In addition to observing this holiday citywide, Coachella will work to develop a celebration and activities surrounding the Coachella Valley’s Indigenous Community, which includes the Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Torres-Martinez Band of Cahuilla Indians, and Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians.
“It was a unanimous decision to approve this resolution because we deeply value our local tribes and feel that honoring this day gives them the respect and reverence that they deserve,” Councilwoman Josie Gonzalez said in a prepared statement. “We hope this acknowledgement opens the door to other local jurisdictions following suit.”
“Our city’s official recognition of this holiday honors our residents’ indigenous histories and identities and plays a part in correcting the whitewashing and falsification of American history,” Councilwoman Megan Beaman Jacinto said in a prepared statement. “This is one step in a long process that is needed to ensure that native peoples are visible, respected, celebrated, and valued – both in the past and in the present.”
- Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Shutterstock