From Kshama Sawant at her seattle.gov page:
Last year, it was my good fortune to have worked with indigenous community activists on the creation of Indigenous People’s Day in Seattle. By passing this historic resolution, the City of Seattle rejected a celebration of Columbus Day, and honored the history and memory of those who experienced the brutal realities of colonialism and genocide.
This year, I have had the privilege of working with activists to push for a groundbreaking resolution aimed at educating those who do not know, and beginning to heal the wounds created by the horrific United States Indian Boarding School Policy, which was in effect from 1869 to the 1970s.
During that time, more than one hundred thousand Indigenous children were removed from their homes, stripped away from their families, religions, and culture.
Support for this policy was not universal within government. Unfortunately, those who opposed the idea had far worse ideas in mind. Captain Richard H. Pratt – an official who was considered a leading moderate – once told an audience that,
“[a] great general [Sherman] has said that the only good Indian is a dead one, and that high sanction of his destruction has been an enormous factor in promoting Indian massacres. In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”
This supposed goal, to “Kill the Indian, and save the man,” is tantamount to cultural genocide.
Our new resolution will give City officials the opportunity to acknowledge and help heal the deep wounds left by the Boarding School Policy.
It is also another step towards getting the City to take real action to address the poverty, oppression, and marginalization that indigenous people face to this day. This much-needed action is part of the larger fightback for economic, racial, and social justice.
I will present the boarding school resolution, and it will be voted on, at the Full Council meeting Monday October 12, 2015. The day will be marked by a joint celebration of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day anniversary, and the signing of the new resolution.
My deep appreciation to my indigenous sisters and brothers.
The full text of the new resolution can be found here