“Columbus Day as a national, and international, phenomenon reflects a much larger dynamic that promotes myriad myths and historical lies that have been used through the ages to dehumanize Indians, justifying the theft of our lands, the attempted destruction of our nations and the genocide against our people.” ~Russell Means & Glenn Morris
On October 6th, 2014 the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to rename the second Monday in October, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” The vote came after months of intense lobbying by the greater Seattle urban Native community and area Tribes.
The origins of the organizing efforts to abolish Columbus Day and rename it Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first documented back in 1977, when members of the International Indian Treaty Council, the American Indian Movement and other Indigenous activists from North, Central and South America presented the idea to the United Nations at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.
Since then, various states and cities have passed resolutions to rename Columbus Day. Seattle became the second major city to pass an Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolutions this year following organizing efforts in Minneapolis.
Seattle’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day resolution was drafted by LRI’s Matt Remle and received broad support from area Tribes, the Seattle Native community and a diverse range of community organizations, non-profits, and human rights organizations.
Additionally, on October 1st, the Seattle school board was successfully lobbied and passed a resolution to mark the second Monday in October as a day of observance for Indigenous Peoples’ and established the board’s commitment to the teaching of local tribal history, culture, treaty rights, governance and current affairs into the K-12 school system.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Day Resolution will be signed into law by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on October 13th at Seattle City Hall, followed by an evening of celebration at Seattle’s historic Day Break Star.