Our thanks to the Seattle City Council for a proposed resolution to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. Christopher Columbus was not the hero we were taught to believe in while we were in grade school. The matter will be considered at the September 02 Seattle City Council meeting about 2:00 p.m., City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor. Hope you can be there to give support to this long overdue resolution.
Who was the real Columbus? First off, he was not the first to “discover” the New World. The Vikings, including Leif Ericson, were here some 500 years earlier and the Native Americans discovered this land more than 14,000 years earlier.
Columbus was not the hero he has been made out to be. His crimes were considered so horrible that even the King of Spain removed him from power. Many of his crimes were recorded by Bartolome’ De Las Casas, a priest who was there and witnessed his atrocious crimes. When indigenous people did not meet their work quota, they had both hands chopped off. The Spaniards used the bodies of children to test the sharpness of their blades. De Las Casas wrote, I tremble as I write. http://www.creators.com/liberal/norman-solomon.html.
Columbus’s policies were responsible for the genocide against the indigenous people. Out of an estimated population of 3,000,000 in 1492 on the island of Hispaniola only 60,000 were still alive in 20 years and by 50 years they were all gone. When tribes offered resistance to his slavery, he unleashed 200-foot soldiers, 20 cavalry with crossbows, small cannon, lances, swords and let loose 20 hunting dogs who tore the Indians apart.
He awarded his lieutenants with women to rape and the demand was for girls age nine to ten. He forced the peaceful natives to work in the gold mines until they died of exhaustion. They were burned alive if they tried to escape.
For more complete details, see Google, Crimes of Christopher Columbus http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-kasum/columbus-day-a-bad-idea_b_742708.html. Also historian Howard Zinn documents Columbus’ racism and greed in A People’s History of the United States.
Maybe this time the Seattle City Council will redeem itself and approve this resolution after their no-show on co-signing Council Member Kshama Sawant’s letter standing up for human rights and condemning Israel’s action in Gaza.
Hope to see you at the September 2nd, 2:00 pm Council meeting to give support to this important resolution. If you can’t make it, a letter, a call or an email to the members of the City Council would help
J. Glenn Evans
Poet, Novelist and Political Activist
Here is their contact information:
Sally Bagshaw firstname.lastname@example.org 206-684-8801
Tim Burgess email@example.com 206-684-8806
Sally Clark firstname.lastname@example.org 206-684-8802
Jean Godden email@example.com 206-684-8807
Bruce Harrell firstname.lastname@example.org 206-684-8804
Mike O’Brien email@example.com 206-684-8800
Nick Licata firstname.lastname@example.org 206.684.8803
Tom Rasmussen email@example.com 206-684-8808
Kshama Sawant firstname.lastname@example.org 206.684.8016
A COPY OF THE RESOLUTION IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS CORRESPONDENCE
Another badly needed resolution by the Seattle City Council for the people of Seattle to show their appreciation to the Duwamish Tribe for every square foot of Seattle taken from them would be a City resolution to show their recognition of the Duwamish Tribe even if the Federal Government is still dragging their feet on this matter. President Clinton had approved their recognition, but when Bush got in, he rescinded the recognition. Let’s suggest the Council act on this idea.
Council Member Sawant attempted to get language regarding Duwamish recognition lumped into this resolution, but the Mayor’s office took it out. It is an issue they will have to take independently of this in the future.
Copyleft 2014 J. Glenn Evans
(Feel free to copy and distribute to others)
PROPOSED SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
The resolution will be discussed during Full Council, at 2 PM.
WHEREAS, in 2011 the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, representing 59 Tribes from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, Western Montana and some Alaskan Tribes, passed resolution #11-OO to “Support to Change Columbus Day (2nd Monday of October) to Indigenous Peoples’ Day”; and
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands that would later become known as the Americas have occupied these lands since time immemorial; and
WHEREAS, the City recognizes the fact that Seattle is built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible; and
WHEREAS, the City values the many contributions made to our community through Indigenous Peoples’ knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and the deep cultural contribution that has substantially shaped the character of the City of Seattle; and
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle has a responsibility to oppose the systematic racism towards Indigenous people in the United States, which perpetuates high rates of poverty. When communities are confronted with extreme poverty and income inequality, they are further challenged by disproportionate health, education, and social crises; and
WHEREAS, the City promotes the closing of the equity gap for Indigenous Peoples through policies and practices that reflect the experiences of Indigenous Peoples, ensure greater access and opportunity, and honor our nation’s indigenous roots, history, and contributions; and
WHEREAS, the lands later known as the Americas were considered by countless Indigenous people as home for many generations before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in1492; and
WHEREAS, the story of the Americas by Indigenous peoples since time immemorial provides an authentic historical narrative that honors, respects, and celebrates the culture, language, and traditions of our Indigenous ancestors;
WHEREAS, Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas; and
WHEREAS, the City of Seattle was declared to be a Human Rights City on December 10, 2012, committing itself to protect, respect and fulfill the full range of inherent human rights for all as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and numerous other international human rights treaties.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
Section 1. The City of Seattle strongly supports that Indigenous Peoples Day shall be an opportunity to celebrate the thriving cultures and values of the Indigenous Peoples of our region; and
Section 2. The City of Seattle strongly encourages Seattle Public Schools to include the teaching of indigenous people’s history as recommended by 2005 H.B. 1495; and
Section 3. The City of Seattle encourages other businesses, organizations, and public institutions to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day; and
Section 4. The City of Seattle firmly commits to continue its efforts to promote the well-being and growth of Seattle’s American Indian and Indigenous community.
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and City Council of the City of Seattle jointly declare the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the City of Seattle.