Toledo, Iowa – On Monday, October 14, 2019, the cities of Tama and Toledo honored the Meskwaki Nation by coming together jointly to proclaim the second Monday of each October to be recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in their respective cities.
The proclamation states, “The day is meant to recognize the land now known as the cities of Tama and Toledo as home to Indigenous People since time immemorial, and without whom, the building of the two cities would not have been possible. The day also recognizes and honors the relationship between the two cities and the Meskwaki Nation.”
Both Mayor Mike Carnahan (Tama) and Mayor John Lloyd (Toledo) read from the proclamation, thanking the Meskwaki Nation for sharing its cultural, spiritual, technological, philosophical, and environmental knowledge and wisdom with the community. Acknowledging that Indigenous People have suffered historical injustices as a result of colonization and continue to suffer to this day, the cities seek to eliminate racism toward Indigenous Peoples and strive to promote policies and practices that honor the state’s Indigenous roots, history, and contributions. Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be designated as a time to reflect on the experiences of Indigenous Peoples while working to ensure greater access and equitable opportunity is afforded to them. The cities strongly encouraged school systems to include teaching of Indigenous history in its curriculum and encouraged businesses, organizations, and institutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The cities strongly support that beginning through the proclamation, each Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be an opportunity for community members to reflect on the continued struggles of Indigenous Peoples within our country and communities, as well as celebrate the thriving cultures and values of Indigenous Peoples of the region.
Dozens of Meskwaki community members attended the proclamation ceremony at the Reinig Toledo Civic Center. Following the signing, Toledo Council Member Darvin Graham was gifted a beaded medallion by Tribal Operations Deputy Executive Director Oliviah Walker for his part in initiating the ceremony. Tribal Council member Delonda Pushetonequa and Tribal Council Chairman Anthony Waseskuk both spoke at the ceremony thanking Mayor Carnahan and Mayor Lloyd for their friendship and continued partnerships with the People of the Red Earth.