Council to consider Indigenous Peoples Land Acknowledgment statement during Aug. 27 meeting

It’s a light agenda for the Edmonds City Council when councilmembers meet Tuesday, Aug. 27.

The council is set to decide whether to approve an Indigenous Peoples Land Acknowledgment to be read at council meetings, and whether the council should direct other city boards and commissions to do the same.

After outreach to the Tulalip Tribes for their recommendation, city staff is recommending the following land acknowledgment statement language be read after the flag salute by the person presiding over each regular council meeting (generally, the mayor or designee):

“We acknowledge the original inhabitants of this place, the Sdohobsh (Snohomish) people and their successors the Tulalip Tribes, who since time immemorial have hunted, fished, gathered, and taken care of these lands. We respect their sovereignty, their right to self-determination, and we honor their sacred spiritual connection with the land and water.”

Staff is also recommending that the council not direct other city boards and commissions to read the statement, but to instead inform them of the council’s decision “and encourage them to consider using it in some way too.” (The Edmonds Diversity Commission already reads a similar statement prior to its meetings.)

More background on the thinking behind including such a statement can be found in our earlier story.

Also during the business meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, the council will discuss a 2020 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and hear reports from councilmembers who sit on outside boards and commissions.

At 6:45 p.m., the council will hold a special meeting to interview Kerry Radley for appointment to the Edmonds Cemetery Board.

You can see the business meeting agenda here. The council chamber is located inside the Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N.

  1. The so called “Diversity” commission has this covered in their Agenda; as such its duplicitous and a waste of time. Can we please focus on the business at hand? Get the bums out of the area to the east Hwy 99 / Edmonds Way interchange area for starters. Keep your (liberal) guilt to yourselves please, so the adults in the room can focus on ensuring Point Wells residential development does NOT happen, and other REAL issues.

  2. In addition to reading something about the land and all that we could consider giving back the Marsh. The language in the statement suggest they would be good stewards to restoration of the Marsh and the restoral of a salmon run that will save the Orca. When the tribes wanted to put a casino in Edmonds were rejected that request via “zoning”. Giving them the Marsh would be one way to put our words into action.

  3. Another great idea Darroll, except I would say “instead of” rather than “in addition to.” Giving back valuable land for good use and preservation is a true act of respect and honor where the statement is just ceremonial words that don’t have any real material or spiritual value, in my opinion. Repetition of the words will just become rote over time. It’s feel good stuff, but of little value to the native people or the rest of us.

  4. Here’s a can of worms…Slavery was widespread and well documented among the Coast Salish. Slaves were held as simple property and not as members of the tribe. The children of slaves were born into slavery. Maybe add something about this, to open up the beginning of each City Council meeting?

    1. Our own Steven Pinker points out that the most violent violent time in America was before settlers arrived. https://www.science20.com/news_articles/the_most_violent_era_in_america_was_before_europeans_arrived-141847

      The only reason why this is relevant is because our City Council recently banned Columbus Day citing his role in the genocide of Salish tribes. That was very revisionist to say the least. I support native sovereignty, but there are some objective impracticalities of that, none which are the purview of the Edmonds City Council. For those seeking to send a message or overture to natives, I encourage people to actually Will their house and estate to a local tribe. Why not?

  5. I believe that this item needs to be dropped. You are opening a can of worms to a statement that is so general that we could be in a legal situation if we accept anything at all. Do your city business and stop your liberal guilt. Many countries had an interest in the United States. We won, over and finished. We may appreciate the Native American culture and their art, but let history be. Just because Elisabeth Warren was here is no need to become guilty.

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