Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Featured

Seattle Celebrates 3rd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Seattle Celebrates 3rd Annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day

On October 10th, Seattle celebrated its 3rd annual Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The day started off with a rally and march from Seattle’s Westlake Park to Seattle City Hall. Following a welcome by Duwamish Tribal council member Ken Workman and a series speeches by youth, elders and other community members, hundreds marched through the streets of Seattle led by the Sacred Water Canoe family and other singers.

This year’s celebration was held in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Sept 9th, the Seattle city council passed a resolution, drafted community members, to support the efforts to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

From the resolution:

Section 3. The City of Seattle proclaims that October 10, 2016, Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Seattle, will commemorate and support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the DAPL.

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Women's warrior song sang during celebration march. Photo by Erika Berg

Women’s warrior song sang during celebration march. Photo by Erika Berg

Marching from Westlake to Seattle City Hall. Photo by Erika Berg

Marching from Westlake to Seattle City Hall. Photo by Erika Berg

Youth at march.  Photo by Erika Berg

Youth at march. Photo by Erika Berg

At City Hall, performances were held by Alaskan Native dance groups, the United Indians pre-school program and a keynote was given by Sherman Alexie (Spokane). Guest speakers included Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Council members Bruce Harrell, Kshama Sawant and Debora Juarez (Blackfeet).

Sherman Alexie at City Hall IPD celebration. Photo by Erika Berg

Sherman Alexie at City Hall IPD celebration. Photo by Erika Berg

United Indians pre-school performance at City Hall. Photo by Erika Berg

United Indians pre-school performance at City Hall. Photo by Erika Berg

The day was capped by an evening celebration and salmon feed at the historic Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center. Amidst the round dancing, cultural sharing, and performance by Native Hawaiian dancers, Louie Gong, Sherman Alexie, Kshama Sawant and Debora Juarez were honored for their work supporting Native communities and issues.

Debora Juarez, Kshama Sawant and Sherman Alexie being honored. Photo by RedWolf Pope

Debora Juarez, Kshama Sawant and Sherman Alexie being honored. Photo by RedWolf Pope

Celebration at Daybreak Star. Photo by RedWolf Pope

Celebration at Daybreak Star. Photo by RedWolf Pope

Seattle's Indigenous Peoples Day resolution author Matt Remle (left) and IPD planning committee member honors Louie Gong (Nooksack) owner of 8th Generation.

Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples Day resolution author Matt Remle (left) and IPD planning committee member honors Louie Gong (Nooksack) owner of 8th Generation.

In an interview with Johnnie Jae Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution author Matt Remle (Lakota) described the importance of passing resolutions that oppose Columbus Day,

Indigenous Peoples Day is both a recognition and celebration of Indigenous peoples from our cultures, histories, and way of life. It is also a firm rejection of Columbus, the Doctrine of Discovery and the ensuing settler colonialism that has plagued our homelands. Embracing Indigenous Peoples Day is a recognition of the beauty and strength of our ancestors while sending a message to our children, grandchildren and those yet born that they come from a beautiful, strong and resilient peoples.”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day song sung by Seattle residents Mariana Harvey (Yakama) and Itsa Shash (Mexica/Indeh).