(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Oct. 11 as Indigenous Peoples' Day in the state.
She made the announcement on Monday morning.
"Today is a day of remembrance, reflection, and celebration of the Indigenous peoples, including those who call Michigan home,” Whitmer said in a release. “The success of tribal communities is inextricably linked to Michigan’s success, and we must ensure that they have an empowered voice and seat at the table. I am proud to proclaim October 11th as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and celebrate the thriving cultures and values that our tribal communities contribute to our state."
There are three major tribal groups still in Michigan: the Chippewa (Ojibwe), Ottawa (Odawa) and Potawatomi (Bodéwadmik).
“The proclamation for Indigenous Peoples' Day is a significant step forward in acknowledging the myriad contributions of the first peoples of the Great Lakes region to the culture and economy of Michigan,” Tribal Chairman Jamie Stuck of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi said in a release. “Our contributions include Indigenous traditional crops such as corn and beans that remain today a major part of Michigan’s agricultural economy. There have also been considerable hardships and challenges to be endured, all while maintaining our culture, history, and traditional way of life. This proclamation is a beginning to overcome the struggles of the past and to work together for a better shared future.”
President Joe Biden also proclaimed Monday as Indigenous Peoples' Day, the first U.S. president to formally recognize it.