Wisconsin Democrat Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order declaring the second Monday of October, which is recognized as Columbus Day at the federal level, as “Indigenous People’s Day.”
Evers signed the measure at the Indian Community School in Franklin, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, WISN reported.
“Through this executive order, we recognize and appreciate our tribal nations and Indigenous people and their resilience, wisdom, and the contributions they make to our state,” Evers said of the signing.
“Native Americans in Wisconsin and throughout our country have suffered unjust treatment—often at the hands of our government—and today is about recognizing that Wisconsin would not be all that it is without Indigenous people,” he continued.
Wisconsin houses 11 federally-recognized Native Nations, according to the executive order, which affirms their sovereignty and recognizes the “significance” of indigenous people in the region.
Although the declaration is of importance to the tribes in the area, some people have disagreed with the measure being scheduled on Columbus Day.
“I think it’s political correctness run amok,” Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan said, adding that he thinks Columbus Day should be observed separately.
“I am not at all opposed to recognizing Native Americans, indigenous peoples to the Americas. No problem whatsoever. But I do have a problem when it’s done at the expense of Christopher Columbus and Italians,” Donovan said.
Wisconsin is not the first state to enact an executive order recognizing Native Americans on the same day as Columbus Day. Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed legislation in April recognizing Columbus Day as “Native American Day,” the Hill reported.