No More Columbus Day? Welcome To ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day!”

Actually, Seattle residents will celebrate two holidays on the same day.

ABC News reports the Seattle City Council has voted to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the same day as the federally recognized holiday Columbus Day.

The resolution that passed unanimously Monday honors the contributions and culture of Native Americans and the indigenous community in Seattle. Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be celebrated on the second Monday in October.

Tribal members and other supporters say the move recognizes the rich history of people who have inhabited the area for centuries.

“This action will allow us to bring into current present day our valuable and rich history, and it’s there for future generations to learn,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation on the Olympic Peninsula. She is also president of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

“Nobody discovered Seattle, Washington,” she said to a round of applause.

Several Italian-Americans are upset with the idea of putting Indigenous Person’s Day as the same day as Columbus Day, saying it takes away from the accomplishments of the Italian-born Columbus, who found the Americas on October 12, 1492. Also, Columbus Day is not a legal holiday in Seattle.

“We don’t argue with the idea of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. We do have a big problem of it coming at the expense of what essentially is Italian Heritage Day,” said Ralph Fascitelli, an Italian-American who lives in Seattle, speaking outside the meeting.

“This is a big insult to those of us of Italian heritage. We feel disrespected,” Fascitelli said. He added, “America wouldn’t be America without Christopher Columbus.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is expected to sign the resolution Oct. 13, his spokesman Jason Kelly said.

Reuters is reporting that Seattle is now the second major U.S. city after Minneapolis to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October, the same day as Columbus Day.

The change will take effect for the upcoming October 13 holiday, the city council said.

Other Italian-Americans urged the council to designate a day separate from the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The Seattle School Board last week voted to observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day in public schools on the same day as Columbus Day.

Several states, including Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon, do not recognize Columbus Day, which became a U.S. federal holiday in 1937. The California city of Berkeley stopped recognizing the day in 1992. Minneapolis voted in April to replace Columbus Day.

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