Once again, the city is moving to rename something. Last time it was Columbus Day; this time it is Canada Island. Both changes meant to honor the indigenous peoples of the Americas. While I have worked with and admire our tribal neighbors, let’s remember that if it weren’t for the European explorers and settlers, we wouldn’t be here. There wouldn’t be a city of Spokane because the earlier inhabitants were nomadic, visiting only on an occasional basis.
It’s great to respect them, but not at the expense of ignoring the contributions of others. Many Spokanites (myself included) have family and other ties to Canada. Indeed, the early non-native explorers were from Canada. The city made a commitment to Canada when the island was named after Expo ‘74. Let’s honor that commitment.
We already have a number of native-themed names; let’s keep some of the ones we have that honor other contributors to this area.