Lawrence, KS Mayor Declares Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day in Place of Columbus Day
Lawrence, KS Mayor Declares Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day in Place of Columbus Day
By Jessica Larson /

After years of protesting, the Native American community can officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day in Lawrence.

At the City Commission meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Mike Amyx declared Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day after recognizing that the City of Lawrence was built upon the homelands of the Kansa and Osage people.

“Indigenous peoples' intellectual, spiritual, and the deep cultural contribution has enhanced the character of the City of Lawrence,” Amyx said.

Christopher Sindone, president of the Haskell Indian Nations University's Student Senate, said he didn't understand how much indigenous people meant to the City of Lawrence because he didn’t think they meant much at all. Proclaiming a day for indigenous peoples is a step toward unity, he said.

“For them to pass something like this, as a city, from being at Haskell, that’s 180 years of resiliency by Native Americans acknowledged,” Sindone said.

Sindone said he felt euphoric about the decision because it makes Lawrence feel like the home of indigenous peoples again. He said his elders at Haskell experienced a very different Lawrence that did not celebrate natives’ identities. He said he knew this decision would make them happy.

“This [recognition] breaks a wall down, because there are already a lot of barriers for indigenous people,” Sindone said.

Lawrence joins cities like Portland, Seattle and Minneapolis that also celebrate Native American contributions instead of Columbus Day on Oct. 12.

Pictured: Haskell student Stevie Laravie Jr. from Lincoln, Neb., danced with more than 100 other students outside of City Hall on Tuesday night after Mayor Mike Amyx declared Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day.


UPDATE for clarification / 10/7/2015 - For many Lawrence residents, while celebrating the the declaration, it fell short of expectations.

As Barbara Wolfin‎ wrote in a public post on Facebook,

"Y'all, today was a sweet & sour day. 

Sour because the original proclamation submitted to Lawrence City Council specifically stated for Indigenous Peoples Day to be the 2nd Monday of Oct for this year and every year hereafter. City Council edited our Prolamation to only recognize 2015. We will continue to work on the following years. 

Sweet because of the Communities, Organizations, Committees, Villages, Clans, and Tribal Nations that were represented while walking in unity & solidarity. 


We filled the room, hall, and outside. We put out the call for our people to represent and y'all did just that! (Im personally PROUD of y'all)

Many people are to thank for this day in Lawrence history, THANK YOU!

We do this not for ourselves, but for strengthening the ties between the Lawrence community & the Indigenous/Haskell community, honoring of our ancestors, and for the next generations. 

Don't forget about our Indigenous Day Celebration on Oct. 12. We have a line of speakers, performers, and free food! 

#OnwardHaskell #IndigenizeLFK


3.5 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 13,761 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 11,942 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 8,191 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 5,722 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 4,877 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 4,036 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Men Loving Men
Bianca Vivion · 3,484 views today · When my father was seven he and his best friend Phil cut their index fingers open and placed them together to create a “blood pact” that they would always be brothers. To this...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,094 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
And After the Election, The Reaction
Ret Marut · 2,387 views today · Could there be any better illustration of the shortcomings of representative democracy than this year’s Presidential campaign? For months upon tiresome months, the whole world...
Writers Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein Talk About Journalism and Activism
27 min · 2,216 views today · Author, Activist and Former California State Senator Tom Hayden talks in depth with the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, about the state of the fourth...
'The Climate of Fear Is Unacceptable' - Ken Loach on I, Daniel Blake
6 min · 1,901 views today · Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man who is denied disability benefit after a heart attack and who is then subsequently caught in a...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,813 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 1,410 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
Three Massive Mergers - Millions for One Bank and a Disaster for Food, Water, and Climate
Wenonah Hauter · 1,194 views today · In addition to advising on all three mega-mergers, Credit Suisse is playing a big role behind the scenes of the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 1,135 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 1,072 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 678 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 665 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Social Geographer Shows How Much of You is Determined by Where You're From
3 min · 606 views today · The Professor of Geography examines social inequality and the geodemographics of the UK, using maps created by Oliver O'Brien (UCL, CASA) in 2012 and updated in 2015. You can...
Grow Heathrow: Residents Resisting Eviction Over 3rd Runway
4 min · 587 views today · On March 1st 2010 Transition Heathrow members swooped on an abandoned market garden site in Sipson; one of the villages to be completely tarmacked to make way for a third...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Lawrence, KS Mayor Declares Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day in Place of Columbus Day