Some municipalities will celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time

NEWSTEAD, N.Y. (WIVB) – Lawmakers in Newstead, Lewiston, and Akron as well as the Akron School District, have declared that the second Monday in October is “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Natives say it’s a day meant to spread peace and friendship.

Newstead Councilman Justin Rooney said, “Natives have a tremendous culture and history. It’s time that we have a day for them.”

For years Rooney thought about recognizing natives on Columbus Day. He brought a resolution before the council in February and by May it unanimously passed.

Now on Monday, October12, the Town of Newstead and Village of Akron will have the first celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day.

“I’m really very happy because it will focus on the Tonawanda Seneca Nation, the village, and the town. The partnership has come together to create this day,” Christine Abrams, a representative of the Council Chiefs of the Tonawanda Seneca Natives said.

To celebrate, people will gather at Russell Park in Akron from 10a.m. to 2p.m.

Abrams said many indigenous will take part in the day. They plan on bringing traditional food and performing native dances.

“We’re bringing everyone together to celebrate and to learn a little bit about indigenous people,” Rooney said.

On Monday, the Akron Lacrosse Team will also be recognized for boycotting a game against Lancaster. They opposed the teams former mascot, the Redskins.

Councilman Rooney hopes to keep the momentum going. He plans on going to Albany and the City of Buffalo asking if they will join them in honoring the natives, by adopting Indigenous Peoples Day as well. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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