Indigenous People’s Day is now an official holiday in New Orleans!
OVNV, the United Houma Nation, and community members gathered at the New Orleans City Council on November 18th, 2022 to support a motion by Helena Moreno in partnership with OVNV to make Indigenous People’s Day a holiday. The motion passed, and it is now an official New Orleans holiday!
First came the resolution…
At OVNV’s #BlackAndBrownGetDown in October, Council member at-large Helena Moreno announced a proclamation to officially acknowledge Indigenous People’s Day. The proclamation, written in partnership with Our Voice Nuestra Voz, acknowledges the occupation of Louisiana’s homelands and the fact that indigenous nations have lived on this land long before the city of New Orleans was ever created.
Importantly, it also recognizes the work that indigenous groups have done in order to end the celebration of the colonizers who inflicted genocide and stole the land, and instead celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.
Then it became official…
A month later on November 18th, it was presented as a motion before the city council. The motion passed, and it is now an official New Orleans holiday!
Now as an official holiday, it will serve to not just celebrate Indigenous peoples but to also, as a city, acknowledge that this land is not ours. Land acknowledgement changes colonized mindsets and ahistorical narratives that have been instilled in us. Becoming proper stewards of the land means we must change these mindsets. It helps us understand how we perpetuate injustices our communities face including housing, climate change, public health, education, criminalization, and food insecurity. We must continue to learn, and to listen so that we can decolonize and win justice.