The Seattle City Council has passed Monday a resolution replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day. Some people say it’s silly, while others say it’s a nice gesture.
Tom & Curley Show hosts Tom Tangney and John Curley are split.
“I think it’s a nice sentiment,” says Tom. “We, as a city of Seattle, are not saying that Columbus is a bad man. What we’re saying is, after all, our city is named after an indigenous person – Chief Sealth. We are just also acknowledging indigenous people.”
Curley thinks the whole effort isn’t really worthwhile, calling the name change “a waste of time.”
The council considered the measure a month ago but put off the vote at the request of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for a matter of timing. He said it would get more attention when it’s signed on Oct. 13, the federally recognized Columbus Day.
“The city is home to the Duwamish and home to Chief Seattle,” Millie Kennedy, who identifies herself as a member of the Raven Clan in the Tsimshian tribe, explained to KING 5.
“Because of what Columbus stands for, (the day) marks the time when, what many of us as Native Americans believe, the genocide started,” Kennedy said.
But board member of the local chapter of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce Lisa Marchese told KING she believes people with Italian heritage don’t feel the same.
“It’s become a symbol of honoring Italian Americans and the legacy that our grandparents and great grandparents left us with,” Marchese said.
The Bellingham City Council is also concerned that Columbus Day offends some Native Americans. It will consider an ordinance on Oct. 13 to recognize the second Monday in October as Coast Salish Day.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.