The Journal Gazette
Saturday, August 17, 2019 1:00 am

'Wayne Day' response planned

Paddock to propose resolution to honor Native Americans

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne's namesake, Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne, was remembered a month ago despite objections from Native Americans.

Now a city councilman plans to introduce a resolution recognizing Native American accomplishments.

Geoff Paddock, D-5th, said the resolution will likely be introduced to the council in mid- to-late October. “We're taking some time with this because we want it to be accurate,” he said.

Paddock was one of six councilmen who voted in late February for a resolution declaring July 16 as General “Mad” Anthony Wayne Day. Three councilmen – Glynn Hines, D-6th, Russ Jehl, R-2nd, and John Crawford, R-at large – opposed the resolution sponsored by Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th.

Hines said he could not support it because of the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans.

In March, the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma asked the council to rescind its decision, citing inaccurate information presented by Arp.

In late May, the Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission informed the City Council in an email that it supported the Oklahoma Miami Tribe's request to rescind the resolution.

The Indiana Native American Indian Affairs Commission also recommended the City Council create a resolution “which includes recognition of Native Americans' past and present influence in Fort Wayne.”

Paddock said he didn't recall the May email. Crawford, the council president, said he vaguely remembered it. He received five to 10 letters from Miami Tribe members and citizens expressing their opinions on the matter, he said.

Paddock said he has met with members of the Miami Tribe and others to ensure the language in the resolution is accurate.

Paddock said he voted for the resolution declaring General “Mad” Anthony Wayne Day because his hometown is named after Wayne. After the vote, “I could tell there were some really hurt feelings,” he said.

The Miami Tribe could not be reached for comment Friday. 

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