Kevin Foster, WAFB-TV, September 16, 2019
A Louisiana woman says the deeply rooted history of American Indians moved her to action three weeks ago when she contacted the office of Louisiana Governor John Bel. Edwards with a request for the state to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Baley Champagne, 27, says she received notice the governor would honor her request Wednesday, Sept. 11.
Champagne is of Native American descent, and says the conversation fostered on social media around inclusiveness for her often overlooked community pushed her to create real change.
Governor Edwards told WAFB the proclamation is just the latest effort his administration has undertaken to increase the visibility of Native Americans in Louisiana.
“I am proud to proclaim Indigenous Peoples’ Day to recognize the contributions of Native Americans in Louisiana.” said Gov. Edwards. “My administration has prioritized working with the tribes through our Office of Indian Affairs to award scholarships and establish the Native American Commission to ensure issues important to Native Americans in Louisiana get the attention they deserve.”
Indigenous Peoples’ Day is typically celebrated on the second Monday in October. In 2019, Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be recognized October 14.