Proposed Bill Would Change Columbus Day To Indigenous Peoples' Day In Arizona

Dec 10, 2019 655

BY: Katherine Davis-Young

Arizona observed Native American Day for the first time on June 2 this year. The holiday came from a 2018 bill, and the lawmaker behind that bill is pushing for another change to official state holidays in 2020. State Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai, a member of the Navajo Nation, had bipartisan support in creating Native American Day but putting the holiday in June came as a compromise.

This year, she pre-filed a Senate bill with her original goal: to replace Columbus Day in Arizona. Honoring Christopher Columbus each October brings up a painful past for indigenous people, Peshlakai said. “His part in history was pivotal, yes, but moving forward, it was also the date when the end of the indigenous people came about,” she said. 

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