Office of the Mayor, City of Eugene, Oregon
Sitting on Kalapuya land, our city joins 15 states and more than 150 other cities and towns across the nation that recognize today, the second Monday in October, as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Since 1977 more and more governing bodies have opted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. For the city of Eugene, instead of commemorating conquest, we recognize resilience.
On this day, we celebrate the heritage of Indigenous peoples to show respect of their history and to enlighten the public toward a better understanding of modern Indigenous communities. The city values the many contributions made to our community through Indigenous peoples’ knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and deep cultural contributions that have substantially shaped the character of our city and state.
Since time immemorial, the Kalapuya people have been the Indigenous stewards to this land, building dynamic communities, maintaining balance with wildlife, and enacting sustainable land practices. Following treaties between 1851 and 1855, Kalapuya people were dispossessed of their Indigenous homeland by the United States government and forcibly removed to the Coast Reservation in Western Oregon. The city of Eugene is built upon the traditional homelands of the Kalapuya peoples and acknowledges the inherent sovereignty of the nine federally recognized tribal nations in the state of Oregon. Kalapuya descendants are citizens of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon. They continue to make contributions in their communities here and across the lands.
Our commemoration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is one step on the path to replacing harmful historic untruths with knowledge about displacement, genocide and loss, resilience and belonging. Indigenous Peoples’ Day pushes against erasure and urges reevaluation of history and recognize Indigenous representation, equality, and justice. We are inspired by local and regional Indigenous people who continue to fight against the systemic racism and injustices inflicted by the United States government. We are committed to improving our city’s actions that pursue a higher quality of life and well-being for our Indigenous communities.
As Mayor, I stand with city leadership for inclusivity and the recognition of past harm and offer our commitment to work towards change. We pledge better government-to-government relationships between the city and our local Indigenous leadership. We will build the foundation for that respectful and strengthened relationship by committing ourselves to a deeper understanding of the effects of our history through training and education on decolonization.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Lucy Vinis, Mayor of Eugene, Oregon, proclaim support of the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October and ask the residents of Eugene to utilize this day as an opportunity to reflect on the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people of this land, to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region, and to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples elsewhere; encourage other businesses, organizations, and public institutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October; and commit to continue efforts to promote the well-being and growth of Eugene’s Indigenous community.
Signed, Mayor Lucy Vinis, City of Eugene
October 11, 2021