Seattle changes Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, applause & outrage follow

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 Native Americans in tribal dress.  (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Native Americans in tribal dress. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

SEATTLE- Today marks the first ever Indigenous People’s Day in Seattle.

The decision to adopt Indigenous People’s Day as a holiday on the second Monday in October was voted on by Seattle’s City Council last week. The vote followed months of testimony, and Mayor Ed Murray will sign the resolution into law during a ceremony this afternoon.

The newly designated holiday is a way to better recognize the indigenous community and the culture of Native Americans, officials said. Many events are planned to celebrate native history, and Seattle Public Schools will also take time to observe Indigenous People’s Day.

Seattle is not the only city in the country to celebrate native history on the second Monday in October.  In Bellingham, city leaders are considering changing the holiday to Coast Salish Day. Minneapolis also celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The city of Berkely in California was the first city in the country to celebrate the day, switching over to People’s Day in 1992.

Federally however, today is still known as Columbus Day. Though the holiday is not recognized in 16 states, federal buildings, banks and other institutions that adhere to federal holidays are closed.

Many Italian Americans voiced their dissent of the new day earlier this month, saying Columbus Day was meant to celebrate Italian heritage. Ralph Fascitelli, a member of the Italian American community, said he is pushing the city to change the name of Columbus Day to Italian Heritiage Day. He said he supports Indigenous People's Day, but said it should be a different day of the year.

Fascitelli met with mayor Murray last week, he said, but the talks weren't fruitfull. He started a petition on Facebook to recognize Italian Heritage Day.

President Benjamin Harrison established a celebration of Columbus Day in 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the Bahamas in 1492.

Tell us what you think of Seattle's decision to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day


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  • TNT

    Its Columbus Day and that will never change. Indigenous day needs to find another day. Its bs that we have to bend over backwards for these people. Our country no longer is a free country or freedom of speech… I will never accept this as indigenous day. The stupid government can change it on paper but in real life we all know its COLUMBUS DAY……

    • Mike

      Which part is funny to you? That Natives should have 1 single day dedicated to them? So maybe you could take some time to learn actual facts about them & maybe learn how much our culture has borrowed from them?
      Or is it the Columbus part? To follow on what was said above, Hispaniola had a population of over 3 million BEFORE Columbus arrived. By the time he left, nearly 3 million had perished from slave labor in the mines, diseases brought by Columbus and suicides.

      He terrorized the Bahamas, Puerto Rico & Cayman islands. Cutting of ears, fingers, noses, etc for not bringing him enough gold. When he finally realized there wasn’t much gold there, he turned a profit by becoming a major slave trader. “Get a life Seattle”?

  • Joseph Roccosalvo

    Hey idiots pick another day. If your going to change it make it Italian Heritage day, but do not insult 30 million Italians by changing the day. This is their day let them keep it and find another day. Do you realize most of the country laughs at you and thinks your a joke. Italians helped build this great country and you are basically just spitting in their faces.

  • Slam1263 (@IKnowBO)

    I am currently enjoying “The Day We Took Your Stuff” day.
    As someone with more than a smidgeon of early settler blood, I use that term because there are truly no indigenous people on either American Continent, I understand what all of my forebears did.

  • george

    So, apparently, the idea is that white people are bad and should not have viewed this land as free for the taking back when they came here and created the USA. So let’s just disband this country and all the white people return to Europe. Then whitey will inevitably feel compassion and return to the United Non-White States of Azatlan to render aid to the impoverished, lazy and helpless non-whites. Silly people.