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Oregon House votes to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

KTVZ file

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon House on Monday overwhelmingly passed HB 2526 A, which would make the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the state.

The legislation looks to honor and recognize the native people of the state, including the Oregon Tribes, by memorializing the many histories, cultures, contributions, and lives. The bill also aims to address what supporters call the U.S.’s revisionist colonial history by officially replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 

“At this moment in time, we are all working to understand how the messages we learn in history determine how we think about things and how we treat one another,” said Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-N & NE Portland), one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “Now is the time to tell the truth about yet another old lie in our history books and recognize that the native people of this country and the state of Oregon are the original people.”

"Columbus Day has long been hurtful, negatively impacting native communities by glorifying the violent history of hundreds of years of colonial oppression at the hands of white settlers," a news release from the Oregon House Democrats stated.

“I am proud to stand before you today as the first Mexican Indigenous legislator in the history of our state. I am a member of the Purepecha community from the state of Michoacán in Mexico and a proud Co-Chief Sponsor of House Bill 2526,” said Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn). 

According to the University of Oregon, there are an estimated 137,076 Oregonians who identify as Indigenous people from Mexico and Central America. "Today we recognize the Nine Confederated Tribes and honor the land native communities across the country have always called home,” said Alonso Leon.

HB 2526 passed 50-5, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Article Topic Follows: Oregon-Northwest

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