The Olympia City Council on Tuesday signed a proclamation designating Monday, October 10 as Indigenous Peoples' Day.
The proclamation honors and acknowledges the indigenous people who have stewarded the land and who still inhabit the area today, the Steh-Chass Band of Indigenous people of the Squaxin Island Tribe.
"Indigenous People's Day is a time to lift the rich history and resilience of indigenous people through colonization and assimilation, as well as to celebrate their culture and strength through self-determination," the document stated.
The proclamation is Olympia's acknowledgment and reaffirmation of its commitment to "reducing harm, being accountable for injustice, and collaborating with those most impacted by institutional oppression."
Recognition, not retribution
Squaxin Island Tribe council Chairman Kris Peters said they are not looking for retribution or an apology.
"We are looking for acknowledgment. People didn't know that this happened," Peters said, and thanking the council for the proclamation, saying, "the path to healing is to talk about it."
"Any psychologist will tell you the worst thing you can do is to forget and bury and not talk about the things that have occurred,” Peters shared. “The path to healing is to talk about it - you mention it, you say what happened.”
“Once you say it, you can identify it – and learn from it. You grow. We have Squaxin people who have suffered from historical trauma. The first step to healing is to speak about what happened. But it's also important to the people in this community in the leadership here because there's an education piece there," Peters added.
Indigenous Peoples' Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations to the United Nations-sponsored International Conference on the Discrimination against Indigenous Populations in the Americas.
Celebration at Squaxin Park
Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging specialist Olivia Salazar de Breaux invited the community members to celebrate Indigenous People's Day on Monday, October 10, 2022, at Squaxin Park at 2600 East Bay Drive NE, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be cultural performances, speakers, and educational resources.
Free shuttle to the park
Attendees are advised to carpool, ride an Intercity Transit bus, or take advantage of the free event shuttle service located on the east side of the Olympia Farmer's Market District parking lot in the designated shuttle parking spaces. The shuttle will operate every half hour, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. For shuttle information, call 360-753-8343.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here