Local activists have set up a petition for Corpus Christi City Council to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day.
Indigenous Peoples Day has been recognized by the United Nations since 1994. Since then, a growing number of US states and cities have officially followed suit. The local activist group is hoping that Corpus Christi can do so as well.
The issue was brought up on Tuesday during public comments at a city council meeting by Armando Windstalker Cavasos, a local representative of the Indigenous Warriors Society.
“It’s time for Corpus Christi to be progressive and jump on board with cutting out this shameful piece of US history that many other Texas cities have done,” Cavasos says, “So that our people may heal and our ancestors may rest.”
“The federal government declared Columbus Day as a holiday without input from Native Americans and without knowing the true history of Native Americans,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a Facebook post, “For many years, Indigenous people have protested Columbus Day because it celebrates colonialism, oppression, and injustice inflicted on Indigenous peoples. Observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day allows citizens to recognize our rich heritage and represents a step toward healing and growth.”
According to the petition on Change.org, indigenous people make up a significant part of Corpus Christi’s history.
“Here in Corpus Christi, we have the 2nd largest burial ground in Texas. This city has significant ties to many tribes such as Lipan, Apache, Comanche, Carrizo and more.” the petition states, We are the geographical end point of where the most accounts of the coastal tribe Karankawa was found. The Karankawa tribe lived all along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Most accounts were found between Houston/Galveston and Corpus Christi.”
Since the petition was published this morning, 68 people have signed it.