Seattle School Board votes to observe ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’ on Columbus holiday
SEATTLE — The Seattle School Board unanimously voted Wednesday to have public schools observe “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on the second Monday of October — the same day as the Columbus Day federal holiday.
The resolution, in part, said the board “recognizes the fact that Seattle is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible.”
The resolution also says the board “has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty and income inequality, exacerbating disproportionate health, education and social crises.”
It urges district staff to “include the teaching of the history, culture and government of the indigenous peoples of our state.”
The Seattle City Council will vote next Monday, Oct. 6, whether to celebrate “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” on the same day as the Columbus Day holiday.
“We know Columbus Day is a federal holiday, we are not naive about that, but what we can do and what you have seen is a movement,” said Matt Remle, supporter of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day designation.
Columbus Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1937 and has been observed on the second Monday in October since 1970.
During a Seattle City Council committee meeting on Sept. 17, Italian Americans expressed their concerns. Many of them support Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but believe it should not replace Columbus Day.
“For most Italian Americans, Columbus Day is a symbol of pride in our heritage,” said Audrey Manzanares.
Here is our earlier video report of the Seattle City Council committee hearing on the issue Sept. 17: