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Human Resources Department

Commission on Human Rights

Resolution to Adopt and Establish Indigenous People’s Day

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WHEREAS Sonoma County strives for diversity and acceptance, and seeks to uplift and uphold human rights and dignity within its community; and

WHEREAS since Columbus Day 2015, at least 11 states and 129 cities in the United States have passed measures designating the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day; and

WHEREAS historians have largely agreed that Columbus did not “discover” the Americas as indigenous people were already here, nor was he the first European to reach the “New World”; and

WHEREAS Columbus brought devastation to the Americas, enslaving indigenous people of the region and decimating the population while opening the Americas up to Europe for the expansion of slave trade at the expense of the indigenous population; and

WHEREAS the recognition and acknowledgement of Indigenous People’s Day would officially acknowledge the atrocities, genocide and ancestral land displacement inflicted upon the original inhabitants of Sonoma County through the California Missions and other systems of oppression by occupying Spanish, English, Russian, Mexican and American invaders; and

WHEREAS the recognition and acknowledgement of Indigenous People’s Day would officially acknowledge and respectfully support the resistance, persistence, existence and living history of Sonoma County indigenous people including the Miwok, Patwin, Pomo, Wappo, and Wintun tribes: and

WHEREAS the United Nations Rights of Indigenous Peoples Declaration adopted in 2006 confirms the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, recognizes subsistence rights and rights to lands, territories and resources; recognizes that indigenous peoples deprived of their means of subsistence and development are entitled to just and fair redress; outlaws discrimination against indigenous peoples; and promotes their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them, as well as their right to remain distinct and to pursue their own visions of economic and social development; and

The Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to declare without hesitation its stance of inclusivity, diversity and values of human rights and dignity by officially adopting this resolution to declare the 2nd Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day in Sonoma County.

The Commission urges the County of Sonoma, through the Board of Supervisors, at the earliest possible date in the 2020-2021 fiscal year, to rebrand all marketing materials, signs, online calendars, calendars, and more with the name “Columbus Day” to that of Indigenous Peoples Day.

Be it therefore resolved that the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights strongly declares support for and solidarity with the adoption of Indigenous People’s Day in Sonoma County.

THE FOREGOING RESOLUTION was duly adopted this twenty-eighth day of January 2020, by the following vote:

Ayes: 4 Noes: 0 Absent: 2 Abstain: 0