MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Seattle, Olympia celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct 11, 2015, 2:42 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2015, 10:05 am

A flyer on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque calls for students to join a p...

A flyer on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque calls for students to join a protest against Columbus Day. Monday, marks the annual Columbus Day nationwide, but in a twist that signals a growing trend, it will also be Indigenous Peoples Day in at least nine U.S. cities this year. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

(AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country.

As the U.S. observes Columbus Day on Monday, it will also be Indigenous Peoples Day in at least nine U.S. cities, including Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Olympia, Washington.

The Seattle City Council approved a resolution to designate the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate the culture of Native Americans.

“This resolution is about more than just a name change, it is about educating ourselves and our children about taking a stand against racism and discrimination,” Councilmember Kshama Sawant, the lead sponsor of the measure, said last year.

The measure calls on city departments to create educational programs and celebrations for Indigenous Peoples Day. It also calls on the Seattle School District to increase the teaching of history of indigenous people.

Seattle event:

Winona LaDuke, Native American Activist, environmentalist, and author, will speak at Seattle City Hall as part of the Race & Social Justice Initiative National Speaker Series. 11:30 a.m.

Last October, some Italian Americans in Seattle promised action to preserve Columbus Day &#8212 on the same day as Indigenous Peoples Day &#8212 and keep it at the forefront.

“We think it’s a real slap in the face to all of those of Italian heritage,” said Ralph Fascitelli, a spokesman for Seattle’s Italian American community, said in an interview before the unanimous council vote.

Encouraged by city council votes in Minneapolis and Seattle last year, Native American activists have made a push in dozens of cities to get local leaders to officially recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Their success was mixed.

They say the indigenous holiday takes into account the history and contributions of Native Americans for a more accurate historical record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Seattle, Olympia celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day