Tybee MLK hosts Indigenous Peoples’ Day event

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 6:59 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For the first time this year, the U.S. President has issued a presidential proclamation recognizing the day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

A celebration of local indigenous people was held on Tybee Island over the weekend. A group gathered in Battery Park on Tybee Island to celebrate the history of the people who first called that land home.

During the event hosted by the Tybee MLK organization, they recognized two Native American tribes, the Guale and Yamacraw, that lived in what is now the Savannah area.

Tomochichi, the head chief of a Yamacraw town, gave part of his land to James Oglethorpe to build what became the city of Savannah. As the mediator between the native population and the new British settlers, Tomochichi is credited for establishing peaceful relations between the two groups and to the ultimate success of Georgia.

This was the second Indigenous People’s Day event hosted by Tybee MLK, as a part of their mission to preserve and recognize the island’s native and black histories for generations to come.

Their event comes just days after President Biden signed a proclamation declaring October 11 to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Special rapporteur for the Georgia tribe of Eastern Cherokee explained what this proclamation meant to her.

" Freedom. A little bit more freedom. So now people understand that there is a declaration of rights for indigenous peoples and that our belief system is to be honored,” said Monika P. Arrington.

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