Alexandria Names Second Monday In October Indigenous Peoples' Day

September 12, 2019
Daniel Gear, of Monacan Tribe of Virginia, takes part in the Smithsonian's pow wow marking the continuing construction of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall September 15, 2002 in Washington, D.C.  -

Alex Wong / Staff / Getty Images

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Alexandria this week became one of more than 130 cities in the U.S. to name the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

In an effort to celebrate local indigenous populations, the city is encouraging public schools to teach indigenous peoples’ history. It also called upon businesses to honor the day “in a meaningful way and in partnership with local Native Nations,” according to a news release. 

The city said 50,000 indigenous peoples comprising 15 different nations appeared in Virginia before English settlers arrived. 

“Many of the Indigenous Peoples in Virginia had been subjugated, killed, or removed by the turn of the 18th century,” the city said in a news release. 

The tribes who lived in Northern Virginia, and Alexandria specifically, “were parts of or allies with the powerful Powhatan Confederacy,” the city said. 

Virginia recognizes 11 indigenous tribes. 

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