LA CROSSE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated every second Monday of October; the same day as Columbus Day. La Crosse began its celebration at City Hall. Community member, Tracy Littlejohn, explains, “Today the mayor made a proclamation that today’s Indigenous Peoples Day in the city of La Crosse and we Ho-Chunk flag here at City Hall.
But it’s not just the flag-raising ceremony that’s going on today, there are also many events going on down at Riverside Park. Littlejohn says, “We’ve got some speakers talking about different aspects of indigenous culture. We have merchandise vendors, we have food vendors, we’ve booths, and we’ve got a traditional la crosse tournament.”
Littlejohn says that it is important that Mayor Reynolds and the city are helping out with the celebration, “I think it’s important that the mayor is a participant in the day because it shows that this is not just the tribal members of the community putting something on, but that the city is actually endorsing this and collaborating with us. And the mayor has always been very supportive of the events that we’ve been doing here with the city.”
Littlejohn also says that Indigenous Peoples Day is very important for her, “Having Indigenous Peoples Day on this day, in particular, reminds people that we were not we are still in existence and we’re still very resilient and thriving in America, despite what has happened in the past.”
According to Littlejohn the city first recognized the holiday in 2018, and the celebration has gotten bigger every year since then.
Wisconsin Governor Evers has recognized Indigenous Peoples Day in Wisconsin since 2019 and Joe Biden was the first US President to formally recognize the day in 2021.