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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Columbus Day: City Council should change holiday

Activists for the substitution of Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day pressed City Council Tuesday to a vote [“Seattle City Council delays vote on Indigenous Day,” Local News, Sept. 2]. It would seem like an opportunity to rectify a misromanticized portion of our nation’s history. But I wonder whether substitution would correct it.

Schools and many workplaces have stripped the federal holiday of its authority, and rightly so. There is justice in dismembering an institution that praises a disseminator of disease and mass murderer.

But changing the name would misrepresent the tone of the holiday. In being on the same day of Christopher Columbus’ arrival, the logical correspondence to be made on Indigenous People’s Day is mourning. The day would serve to mark the loss of Native culture rather than its historical significance and surviving contemporary presence.

It would be more appropriate to create a new holiday in respect of indigenous people in order to honor all parts of their culture in their own rightful space, not one already soiled by Columbus.

Mitchell Hostetter, Keyport

Comments | Topics: native american, Seattle City Council

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