Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota, United States of America has proclaimed August 13 of every year as a day to mark Igbo day.
The proclamation of Igbo Day was contained in document with the State seal signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State of Minnesota.
The proclamation document of Igbo Day states:
“Whereas The Igbos are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria; and
“Whereas there are thousands of Igbo residents in Minnesota, some of whom have lived in the State for more than forty-five years; and
“Whereas in 1985, Igbo Minnesotans formed the non profit organisation Umunne Cultural Association to unite and educate Igbo families and Minnesotans about Igbo culture, art, music and values; and
“Whereas first IgboFest was held in 1994 to celebrate the rich heritage of the Igbos and to educate Minnesotans about Igbo culture, and whereas Igbos in Minnesota have been involved in causes such as education, the arts, volunteering in local local schools and organisations, book drives, COVID-19 vaccination, and cultural perfomamces at local and international festivals, and
“Whereas Igbos in Minnesota are working to ensure the sustainability of Igbo culture by creating cultural awareness for the next generation.
“Now therefore, I Tim Walz, governor of Minnesot, do hereby proclaim August 13, 2022, Igbo Day.”
There are various Igbo groups in the State including the Igbo Women League of Minnesota which is committed to unifying, identifying, educating, and promoting the socio-cultural and economic development of Igbo Women and their families residing in Minnesota, while improving women and children’s lives in Nigeria.
Even before the proclamation, August 13 of every year is celebrated as IgboFest, a Nigerian cultural celebration that brings together thousands across the country in which guests are required to dress in Igbo attires.
According to the organisers, “IgboFest is presented by the Umunne Cultural Association of Minnesota and held annually in August at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park. Umunne Cultural Association in Minnesota is a nonprofit organization focused on bringing Nigeria’s deep-rooted cultural heritage to the Minnesota community. The association is an organization of Igbo-speaking people of Nigeria living in Minnesota, reflecting their affinity with one another, and with the shared goal of promoting and preserving the rich Igbo culture.
“Umunne Cultural Association strives to accomplish its mission through organized cultural events, including IgboFest; community based educational programs; member volunteer activities; and by establishing relationships with other Minnesota based organizations that share in the cultural diversity mission of the state of Minnesota. They also work to educate Igbo students to build successful careers and professions so that they may become substantial members and positively contribute to the communities in which they live.”