Seattle City Council Postpones Vote on Columbus Day Renaming

Matt Remie testifies before Seattle City Council on Tuesday.

Matt Remie testifies before Seattle City Council on Tuesday.

SEATTLE — On Tuesday the Seattle City Council decided to postpone its vote to rename Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day until October 13 so that the mayor and other elected officials can hold a signing ceremony.

Several dozen American Indian supporters gathered at Seattle City Hall’s steps in support of the name change with drumming and speeches.

The effort to do away with Columbus Day was led by Matt Remie, Ethel Branch and others in Seattle’s Native community. This group influenced the Seattle Human Rights Commission to push through a resolution on July 24, 2014.

“This is simply nothing more than respect and honor for the First People of this land. As this moves forward, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Council and Mayor will be amazed by the strength and power that comes from the original People of this land. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a new chapter and a new partnership,” commented Chris Stearns (Navajo), attorney and past Chairman of the Seattle Human Rights Commission to Native News Online late Tuesday.

The resolution that made its way to the City Council was led by Council Members Bruce Harrell and Kshama Sawant. Mayor Ed Murray is in full support of the renaming.

Seattle Native community

Seattle Native community

Columbus Day dates back to 1892 when President Harrison made a proclamation observing a day set aside to celebrate Christopher Columbus. It has been a federal holiday since 1937.

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