This coming Monday is a federal holiday recognized as Columbus Day, in honor of a colonizer who never even set foot in what is now the United States of America. But, starting this year, Seattle will celebrate it as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Local Natives, including Tulalip and Puyallup peoples, had pressed for the move, but not everyone’s pleased with the outcome. KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reports that some Italian-Americans feel like they’ve “been thrown under the bus” by the council’s resolution. A KIRO 7 Facebook post soliciting reactions to the decision garnered heated responses on all sides.
Berkeley, California, was the first city to institute Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992, marking 500 years after Columbus’s arrival to the hemisphere. Mildred “Millie” Ketcheschawno (Mvskoke), who worked diligently with a group known as Resistance 500, was crucial in getting the local city council to adopt the change.