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News Release

Office of Arizona State Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (LD-7)

Arizona State Senator and member of the Navajo Nation, Jamescita Peshlakai has launched an effort to abolish Columbus Day on October 12th to Indigenous People’s Day in Arizona. Senator Peshlakai has partnered with the nonprofit, Indigenous Peoples' Initiative (IPDI) as well as Congresswoman Norma Torres of California to once again sponsor a bill on the federal level. Watch the video HERE.

“It is time that we move beyond Columbus Day and onto a day that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of the United States, the original Americans. The story of Indigenous peoples in America is often invisible or ignored. And so, it is important today that we, as all Americans, find the opportunity to celebrate the histories, cultures, and resiliency of the Indigenous peoples who comprise the 573 tribal nations who live today within the United States. The declaration of an Indigenous Peoples Day for the state of Arizona and the nation will reinforce the foundation of our democracy by celebrating the rich fabric of First Americans. Indigenous America is integral to our democracy and Indigenous People have, and continue to make, valuable contributions that have shaped and still shape this country. In order to learn, we must acknowledge these contributions. In order to heal, we must acknowledge the historical sacrifices. And in order to progress, we must chart new paths forward under a banner of truth, goodwill, and hope. Indigenous Peoples Day should be a day of celebration and recognition…a day for all citizens of our great country,” said Senator Peshlakai.

Indigenous Peoples Initiative President Dylan Baca added, " I founded the Indigenous Peoples' Initiative to educate and advocate on behalf of Indigenous peoples' to ensure that Native Americans are accurately represented. Celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day in the state of Arizona will work to highlight the many ways Native Americans not only contribute to Arizona, but also the nation and our global community. We must remember that America is a constant work in progress and loving this country requires us to speak for what is right. It is my hope that we can put our differences aside and work together with cooperation and mutual understanding for one another to make this nation one that truly aligns with democratic principles. let us shape and embrace our nation as one people all united under the same stars and stripes and work together to create a stronger and more perfect union.”

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