A resolution requesting the Second Monday in October be recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands that came to be known as the Americas have occupied these lands since time immemorial; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council recognizes that Indigenous Peoples were the first residents of the State of Tennessee and recognizes the fact that Nashville is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region including the Shawnee, Cherokee, Choctaw; and

WHEREAS, in 1838 the Cherokee Nation was forcibly removed to the lands west of the Mississippi, and one of the routes of this 'Trail of Tears' passed through Nashville; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council opposes the systematic racism towards Indigenous Peoples of the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education, and social crises; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations sponsored International Conference on Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas; and

WHEREAS, the United States endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the “Declaration”) on Dec. 16, 2010, and the Declaration recognizes that “indigenous peoples have suffered from historic injustices as a result of, inter alia, their colonization and dispossession of their lands, territories and resources;” and

WHEREAS, Article 15 of the Declaration recognizes the right of indigenous peoples “to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information” and places an obligation on States to “take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society”; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council wishes to ensure greater access and opportunity, and to honor our nation's Indigenous Peoples' roots, history and contributions; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council believes that the cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas are worthy of being promoted, that the history is rich, diverse, and worthy of celebration, and that some actions and policies of the European colonizers of the Americas destroyed a part of those cultures, and inhibited the promulgation of those cultures for generations to come; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan County Council values the many contributions made to our community through Indigenous Peoples' knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and the deep cultural contributions that have shaped the character of the City of Nashville; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples' Day properly notes the influences of indigenous culture throughout our history; and

WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples' Day commemorates the contributions and resiliency of indigenous communities while also celebrating the preservation of their unique cultural heritage and ethnic identities.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting that the second Monday in October be recognized as Indigenous Peoples' Day in Nashville, in recognition of the position of Indigenous People as native to these lands, and in acknowledgement of the suffering they faced following European conquest of their land and the ongoing struggles that some Indigenous People continue to suffer, and to celebrate the culture and contributions made by Indigenous Peoples to Nashville, the State of Tennessee, and the United States.

Section 2. That the Council urges businesses, organizations, and public entities to recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day on the Second Monday in October henceforth.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsored by: Brett Withers, Fabian Bedne, Nancy VanReece, Colby Sledge, Mina Johnson, Freddie O'Connell


Referred to: Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee
Introduced: October 3, 2017
Adopted: October 3, 2017 - Roll Call Vote
Returned unsigned by the Mayor: October 19, 2017
Effective Date: October 19, 2017

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615/862-6770.