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“With good leadership in National City, this is a first step in recognizing that the Kumeyaay were the original inhabitants here and the chance to share our true history.”

National city leaders hoisted the Kumeyaay flag at city hall on Monday to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in what was billed as a first for the county.

“The Kumeyaay tribes have been in the region since time immemorial and we are grateful that for the first time National City is raising the Kumeyaay flag to honor this history,” said Erica M. Pinto, president of the Jamul Indian Village of California.

Native Americans and their allies across the country have reclaimed October 12, which is federally recognized Columbus Day, as their own celebration. In some cities and states, Indigenous Peoples Day has been recognized through proclamations. Others, like the city of Los Angeles, have gone so far as to vote to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

“On this Indigenous Peoples Day, we will see the flag of Kumeyaay fluttering in a city that is part of our homeland,” said Angela Elliott-Santos, Tribal President of the Manzanita Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. “With good leadership in National City, this is a first step in recognizing that the Kumeyaay were the original inhabitants here and the chance to share our true history.”

The Gavin Newsom government has recognized October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day for the past two years and has called on Californians to celebrate the broad representation of Indigenous people in the state.

For the first time in the country’s history, President Joe Biden this year issued a proclamation in commemoration of Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Americas were inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous communities before being colonized by the Spaniards. Indigenous Peoples Day is intended to “celebrate the years of resilience, rebuilding Native American identity and recognition (whose) land was once here in the United States,” a statement from the city said.

“We stand in solidarity with our Indigenous and Indigenous brothers and sisters, especially as so many of them have served in the armed forces, continue to provide service to our community and have fought to be sovereign nations while struggling. to preserve traditions ”, declared the National Mayor of the city Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.

“I am honored to say that National City is the first city in the county to recognize that the land we stand on today is Kumeyaay Land.”