City of Wenatchee Considers New Home For Skookum Sign
After Wenatchee’s iconic winking and smiling Skookum sign came down, the City of Wenatchee is now considering the preservation of the historic sign.
Mayor Frank Kuntz shared that as soon as he received word that the sign came down, Kuntz contacted Blue Bird Inc. CEO Ron Gonsalves about either the city or Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center possibly obtaining Skookum.
Reportedly, Gonsalves briefly disclosed his reasons for bringing the sign down, but Mayor Kuntz was not at liberty to share what those reasons are.
“It's an iconic sign, and really needs to be available to the public for its use,” Kuntz said. “Hopefully, the folks at [Bluebird Inc.] see it the same way we do and we can come to an agreement that puts it back in the community in a prominent spot where folks can see it.”
Due to the sign being a cartoonish caricature of a Native-American, question as to whether the sign is offensive or culturally insensitive is still debated.
“When I've talked to some of those folks, they think the sign is a positive sign,” Kuntz said. “She's smiling and she's winking and appears she's having fun.”
However, Kuntz states that the city will work with local Colville Confederated tribe members like Randy Lewis and Mary Big Bull-Lewis on how to best address the situation.