City of Tacoma Declares Indigenous Peoples’ Day, While the Puyallup Flag Hangs in City Hall


On Monday, Oct. 2, 2018, the City of Tacoma declared the second Monday of October to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The Resolution 40122 additionally ensures that the East L St. Bridge will be renamed “with a name recognizing the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ current and historical presence,” as well as continued government-to-government relations between the City of Tacoma and the Puyallup Tribe. This was symbolized through a presentation of the Puyallup Tribal flag by the Puyallup Tribe’s color guard.

Tribal elders and Vice Chairman David Bean were invited by Mayor Victoria Woodards to say a few words on the im- portance of the day and the ceremony. Tribal elder Connie McCloud spoke on the importance of this Resolution and the ceremony, saying, “We celebrate this time of acknowledgement of our people, acknowledgement of a way of life that is not gone, but also acknowledgement of where we’re going into the future.” Vice Chairman Bean emphasized that, while there has been a sordid history between the Tribe and the City, he is looking forward to growing a relationship based in “mutual respect for one another.”

Tribal councilmembers were invited to speak as well, during which they recognized that this ceremony and designation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day is only the beginning of a long relationship between the Tribe and the City of Tacoma.

Before the second Monday of October was declared Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it was recognized as Columbus Day, and was a source of pride for many local Italian Americans. In an effort to recognize the diversity and accepting culture of Pierce County, October was declared Italian Heritage Month on Oct. 9 at City Hall.

Vice Chairman Bean spoke on how glad he was to celebrate the beauty and multitude of identities present in his community. “I want to acknowledge Councilmember McCarthy for bringing the Native community and the Italian American community together, as we talked about recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” he said at the Oct. 9 meeting. “We had a conversation about the Italian American culture, and how it is a rich and beautiful culture. I want to raise my hands to you for acknowledging it and for your efforts, we are grateful.”

The Puyallup flag flies high in the Tacoma City Council chambers, as a constant reminder of the City’s responsibility to the Tribe.