'Indigenous Day' bills advance in New Mexico
Two bills that would rename Columbus Day to "Indigenous Day" were passed by a New Mexico State House Committee last week, Native law students at the University of New Mexico said.

HB 1200, Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Day, passed the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee by a 4-3 vote on March 1. House Memorial 27, Change Columbus Day to Indigenous Day, passed the same day by a 4-3 vote.

The bills were introduced by Rep. Irvin Harrison, a Democrat from Gallup. "New Mexico is home to almost 200,000 indigenous people and over twenty tribes," he said. 'I think that substituting 'Indigenous Day' for Columbus Day would be the perfect way to honor their contributions, accomplishments, history and culture."

Native law students at UNM are pushing for the state to make the change. "It’s New Mexico’s duty as a state to honor their indigenous peoples and to educate our citizens as to the history as indigenous people see it," said Suzanne Martinez, a third year student. "Celebrating Columbus legitimizes his actions. We should not allow the perpetuation of this historical fiction."

Relevant Links:
University of New Mexico School of Law - http://lawschool.unm.edu
Transform Columbus Day - http://www.transformcolumbusday.org

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