Heated discussion on Indigenous Peoples' Day date

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - At Lawton City Council on Tuesday, people came out to show their disapproval of putting Indigenous Peoples' Day the day after Thanksgiving instead of on Columbus Day. The item was at the very end of tonight's city council agenda, and people against Christopher Columbus, and the keeping of the day that celebrates him, stood or held up their signs as the item was discussed.

A woman read her sign to the council:

"Don't celebrate someone who killed, tortured, raped and enslaved thousands of natives."

Many of the signs that they were holding today had a similar message.

The resolution was initiated by City Councilman Bob Morford, who said he had a meeting with Dr. Cornel Pewewardy and discussed establishing an Indigenous Peoples' Day. Pewewardy, who wasn't at the meeting on Tuesday, is an ethnologist and holds many talks on Native American culture. In the agenda item, it said he wanted the city to have policies that promote indigenous history.

While Morford said Pewewardy agreed to having the day recognized the day after Thanksgiving, a representative of Pewewardy said otherwise.

"I just wanted to make that clear that Cornel's original wish in bringing this to the council, bringing this to the community was for it to be in October," Nocona Pewewardy, attended city council meeting.

City Councilman Dwight Tanner made a motion for the council to approve that Indigenous Peoples' Day be recognized on Columbus Day in the City of Lawton, but it didn't pass 3-2 with Morford and Councilman Caleb Davis voting no.

No word on when this item will be back on the city council agenda.

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