October 5, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mayor Benjamin D. Florsheim, 860-638-4801
MAYOR BEN FLORSHEIM WILL PRESENT PROCLAMATION TO WANGUNK ELDER RED OAK (GARY O’NEIL) IN RECOGNITION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY
Friday, October 6, 2023 at 2:30pm
On Friday, October 6, 2023 Mayor Benjamin Florsheim will present a proclamation to Red Oak (Gary O’Neil), an Elder of the Wangunk people. The Mayor will present the proclamation in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The Wangunk people are the native inhabitants and caretakers of the land in and around Middletown, and have lived in this area for thousands of years. The Wangunk people have persisted to this day through their resiliency and spirit. The City of Middletown honors the original custodians of this land, recognizes their many contributions to humanity, and seeks to be a community that recognizes its history while striving to be inclusive of all peoples and cultures. The proclamation will name Monday, October 9, 2023 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in recognition of the Wangunks and Indigenous peoples everywhere.
Red Oak (Gary O’Neil) stated, “It is nice that the lost tribe is being recognized, because for many years no one knew what happened to us. We are finally being included in Middletown history.”
Mayor Florsheim commented, “We have the opportunity and duty to honor all members of this community, and to be inclusive and respectful of all people and cultures. This is an occasion to recognize our history and strive towards a better future for all who make their homes upon this land.”
The ceremony will occur on Friday, October 6 at 2:30pm in the foyer outside the Council Chambers at City Hall (245 deKoven Drive in Middletown).