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Ramsey County Board Declares May 2024 as American Indian Heritage

Ramsey County Board Declares May 2024 as American Indian Heritage
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Following a landmark decision by the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, May 2024 has been designated as American Indian Heritage Month, an acknowledgment of the profound connection between the county’s land and the American Indian people. According to an official statement released on Ramsey County’s website, the region rests on the ancestral and current lands of indigenous inhabitants, whose presence and stewardship date back to time immemorial. With this declaration, the board recognizes the historical, spiritual, and personal importance of the land to its original caretakers.

The county’s namesake, Governor Ramsey, is a figure associated with policies that inflicted damage, imposed forced removal, and perpetuated systemic racism against the area’s American Indian populace; the month-long tribute seeks to confront and rectify these truths by promoting inclusive policies and practices that honor the community’s indigenous roots. Commissioner Ortega, alongside Nicole Beane, the American Indian Community Coordinator for Ramsey County, affirmed the county’s commitment to eliminating systemic racism and celebrating the state’s rich American Indian heritage, the proclamation detailed.

Residents of Ramsey County are being urged by the board to actively participate in honoring and commemorating the American Indian community within Minnesota, which serves as a daily testament to the state’s deep cultural lineage, according to statements featured on Ramsey County’s website. American Indian heritage is not simply a relic of the past, but a living, breathing aspect of Ramsey County, which continues to shape the region’s identity and future. Moreover, education around the contributions and rich history of American Indian people will be emphasized during this dedicated month.

In her remarks, Nicole Beane conveyed the vital significance of such recognition for indigenous communities and highlighted the criticality of raising awareness among residents of the county which is particularly poignant given the complex, and at times painful, history shared by American Indian populations and local governments; Beane’s comments underscore the profound necessity of remembrance, healing, and progress as outlined by Ramsey County’s initiative to duly recognize American Indian heritage over the month of May. 



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