Joined by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, Governor Tony Evers signed Executive Order #50 on October 8, declaring the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Wisconsin.
The executive order was signed at Indian Community School in Franklin. With the declaration, Governor Evers recognized the importance of the Native Nations to Wisconsin and reaffirmed the significance of Native Nations’ sovereignty, culture, and history.
“Through this executive order, we recognize and appreciate our tribal nations and Indigenous people and their resilience, wisdom, and the contributions they make to our state,” Governor Evers said. “Native Americans in Wisconsin and throughout our country have suffered unjust treatment—often at the hands of our government—and today is about recognizing that Wisconsin would not be all that it is without Indigenous people.”
Wisconsin is home to 11 recognized American Indian tribes. Other states that have moved away from observing Columbus Day include Minnesota, Vermont, Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota. Columbus Day remains a federal holiday.
“Today, we seek to recognize and honor our state’s Indigenous communities while moving beyond a dated practice that perpetuates inaccurate teachings and honors genocide,” Lt. Governor Barnes said. “The story of Wisconsin’s Indigenous people has long been one of resistance and resilience. In the coming years, our administration will work to ensure that story evolves into one that includes respect and justice.”
Both Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes strongly encouraged Wisconsin businesses, organizations, public institutions, and local governments to be in solidarity with Indigenous people by recognizing, celebrating and cultivating strong relationships with Wisconsin Native Nations.