LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Indigenous Peoples Day will be recognized on what's also known as Columbus Day later this year in Lawton. A large crowd in support of this declaration came to the meeting on Tuesday night with signs expressing their disapproval of Columbus Day.
Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, who brought this idea to the city last year, said Christopher Columbus is seen as a conqueror who harmed Native Americans. He said celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day instead can be used as a teaching moment in the city.
"I think that children, not just today, but the ones that are going tomorrow, they should know our story. So that's why this day is critical," Pewewardy said.
The original agenda item was presented to the council back in December to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day on the day after Thanksgiving. A substitute motion to celebrate the second Monday in October, but it did not pass.
The substitute motion made in December was approved in this meeting on Tuesday night.
The only nay vote on Tuesday was from Councilman Bob Morford, who brought forward the original agenda item.