Torres Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

October 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Representative Norma J. Torres (D-CA) introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing support for the designation of the second Monday in October as “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” to celebrate and honor indigenous peoples and their shared history and culture. The resolution is co-sponsored by Representatives Deb Haaland (D-NM), Don Young (R-AK), Sharice Davids (D-KS), and Betty McCollum (D-MN).


“For many indigenous people, the celebration of Columbus Day is a state-sponsored celebration of the history of violence and acts of brutality inflicted upon their communities,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres. “Too often we have failed as a country to acknowledge that history and to celebrate and recognize our tribal nations and indigenous peoples and their roots, traditions, and cultural contributions to our country. Through this resolution, we take one step towards correcting that failure; it moves beyond an outdated practice that perpetuates inaccurate teachings, devalues the history of indigenous peoples, and honors genocide. I am proud to introduce this resolution to acknowledge the true history of this continent.”


“Indigenous Peoples Day is about acknowledging indigenous peoples’ complex history in this country and celebrating the culture, heritage, and strength of native communities everywhere. Celebrating Columbus Day continues a dangerous narrative that erases Native American voices and minimizes the federal government’s attempt at genocide and forced assimilation,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus. “Leading this effort with Rep. Torres is a huge step toward creating spaces and starting conversations about our country’s real history, and I thank my friend for her leadership.”


“The history of our First Peoples is essential to the story of America. By the same token, the Indigenous communities in Alaska are a central part of our state’s rich history and culture,” said Congressman Don Young. “It was a proud day for our state when Alaska first officially recognized Indigenous Peoples Day, and I am pleased to join this resolution to honor our nation’s Indigenous heritage, history, and traditions. As Vice Chairman of the House Native American Caucus, I will keep working with my friends on both sides of the aisle to help create strong and prosperous Native communities.”


“I’m honored to join Rep. Torres, tribal leaders across the nation, and the state of Minnesota in celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum. “This resolution recognizes the historical trauma that Native tribes and communities have survived, and the immeasurable contributions that the First Americans have made to our country, including Minnesota’s eleven Ojibwe and Dakota nations.”


Full text of the resolution can be viewed HERE.