Seattle joins a growing number of cities officially recognizing Native American history
Columbus Day will now be known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Seattle.
The Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved the re-designation, which acknowledges that Native Americans were living in North America well before Christopher Columbus “discovered America” in the 15th century, Reuters reports.
The change, which will go into effect before the Oct. 13 holiday this year, marks the second major city in the U.S. to officially re-designate the day, after Minneapolis’ vote in April. (Though the city of Berkeley, Calif., ceased observation of Columbus Day in 1992.)
“Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington,” said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp in remarks to the council. “This action will allow us to bring into future and present a day honoring our rich history.”
The change faced some opposition from some members of Seattle’s Italian-American community, who view the day as a celebration of their cultural heritage (Columbus hailed from Genoa, Italy).
The Seattle School Board voted last week to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Columbus Day on the same day in public schools.