Native American leaders and Mayor Evans plant tree to honor Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — At Cobbs Hills Park, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans joined Native American leaders to plant the White Pine Tree of Peace.

It’s part of the city’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day tribute. The festivities kicked off with a sunrise ceremony and Haudenosaunee flag raising.

Healing was the message for those who spoke at the ceremony and how this holiday can help spread healing in Rochester as the city deals with record violence.

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“When you have the healing, especially with the original people, that healing also penetrates throughout the entire land and we are all aware of how much Rochester and this land is in desperate need of healing,” said Ronalyn Pollack, the Executive Director of the Native American Cultural Center in Rochester.

The holiday concluded with a sunset ceremony at the Cobbs Hill Reservoir.

The city first started honoring Native Americans with the holiday in 2018. Then-mayor lovely warren, signed the proclamation, joining dozens of cities across the U.S.

The city did not stop celebrations of Italian-American heritage with that proclamation. President Biden was the first sitting president to federally recognize indigenous peoples day.

He signed a proclamation last year to commit “to honoring the federal government’s trust and treaty obligations to tribal nations.”