Hours after Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray signed Seattle’s “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” resolution into law, the Bellingham City Council, located two hours North of Seattle, voted unanimously to rename Columbus Day to “Coast Salish Day” in recognition of the regions Coast Salish Peoples.
“Why do we celebrate an individual [Columbus] when so many bad things happened because of what he did?” -Roxanne Murphy
The resolution was drafted by Bellingham City Council member Roxanne Murphy (Nooksack). During the Oct 13th hearing an outpouring of support from community members filled the Bellingham city council chambers expressing their support for the renaming of Columbus Day to Coast Salish Day.
Bellingham’s resolution follows similar resolutions passed by Seattle, Minneapolis, the Seattle School Board and the Portland School Board.
COAST SALISH DAY
WHEREAS, the second Monday in October currently serves as Columbus Day in United States;
WHEREAS, Washington State does not celebrate Columbus Day;
WHEREAS, research has shown that Coast Salish Tribes including the Nooksack Indian Tribe and the Lummi Nation have lived, worked and played in Bellingham since time immemorial;
WHEREAS, the era of colonization and the genocidal actions of Christopher Columbus have led to historical trauma within various cultures and people, namely Coast Salish populations;
WHEREAS, the City of Bellingham has an opportunity to celebrate the Coast Salish people who predated Christopher Columbus; and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BELLINGHAM:
THAT the City of Bellingham will recognize this holiday as Coast Salish Day.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Bellingham will honor every second Monday in October as Coast Salish Day.