More States Replace U.S. Holiday Honoring Colonial War Criminal With Holiday Honoring Indigenous Peoples
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill Tuesday to replace the holiday honoring the Italian explorer with a day celebrating members of the indigenous community, her office confirmed.
Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday that she was “proud” to legalize the new holiday. “This new holiday will mark a celebration of New Mexico’s 23 sovereign indigenous nations and the essential place of honor native citizens hold in the fabric of our great state,” she said. “Enacting Indigenous People’s Day sends an important message of reconciliation and will serve as a reminder of our state’s proud native history.”
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez praised the bill’s passage and thanked Lujan Grisham for her support. “For many years, Indigenous people have protested Columbus Day because it celebrates colonialism, oppression, and injustice inflicted on Indigenous peoples…Observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day allows citizens to recognize our rich heritage and represents a step toward healing and growth.”
Other states that have enacted Indigenous People’s Day following protests against Columbus Day include Oregon, Vermont, Minnesota and Alaska.
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