Monday, October 14, 2019

CB town council declares Indigenous People’s Day

Take next Monday off

By Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council passed a resolution at its October 2 meeting designating the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day in Crested Butte.

At the request of citizens Jeremy Rubingh and Kirsten Atkins, mayor Glenn Michel and councilman Jackson Petito asked the council to approve the resolution, which they did, voting 7-0.

“This is an important recognition,” said Petito.

“This is not about grandstanding. We want to be fair to everyone,” said Michel. “Crested Butte wants to recognize the contributions of Native Americans.”

“It seems like a no-brainer in our progressive community,” added Rubingh before he read a letter outlining his reasons for the request. “It is a small but important gesture for Crested Butte. It is natural for Crested Butte to be on the list of places that celebrates Indigenous People’s Day. These were Ute summer hunting grounds.”

The staff did recommend some changes to the resolution proposed by Rubingh, and Atkins took issue with the council’s eliminating a clause that stated the town would strongly encourage the Crested Butte Community School to include the teaching of indigenous people’s history.

“The educational piece is really important,” Atkins said. “One of the most important parts of the resolution is that history is not just of white males. It is women and indigenous people and others. I don’t see the problem with encouraging the kids in the town to learn that.”

Michel said that town had no jurisdiction over the school district and he wasn’t comfortable asking teachers what to include in their curriculum. The council suggested Atkins and Rubingh approach the school board or Crested Butte Accountability Committee to raise the issue.

They agreed to take that route.

In the meantime, next Monday will be Indigenous People’s Day in Crested Butte. Atkins and Rubingh are organizing a celebration that will take place Monday afternoon at the Crested Butte Heritage Museum. It will begin at 4:30 and go until 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

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