10/02/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 15:33
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) joined Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and U.S. Representative Norma Torres (D-CA) in introducing legislation to replace the official holiday recognized on the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples' Day. The bill would also replace any mention of Columbus Day in all federal laws or regulations with Indigenous Peoples' Day.
More than a dozen states across the country have recognized this change. In 2021, President Joe Biden became the first U.S. President to formally commemorate Indigenous Peoples' Day. Recognizing Indigenous Peoples' Day as a federal holiday is a necessary next step to address generations of trauma and inequity.
The legislation is supported by The Navajo Nation, All Pueblo Council of Governors, National Congress of American Indians, Indigenous Peoples' Initiative, Association on American Indian Affairs, Santa Rosa Rancheria Tachi Yokut Tribe, the Pocahontas Project, Cherokee Nation, National Council of Urban Indian Health, and Barona Band of Mission Indians.
In addition to Senators Hirono, Heinrich, and Luján, the bill is also cosponsored by Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
The full text of the bill is available here.