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House passes Indigenous Peoples Day bill

first_imgRep. Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, during a House minority press availability, March 15, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)The state House unanimously passed a bill Friday morning that would create Indigenous Peoples Day on the 18th of October every year. It coincides with Alaska Day, one of the state’s official holidays.Download AudioAnchorage Representative Harriet Drummond proposed the bill.“In times of challenge, let’s remember those who have gone before us,” she told the House floor. “Who faced far greater challenges than we do. And who adapted and engineered and created and survived in this land we call home.”Representative Benjamin Nageak from Barrow told the House he applauds the declaration but reminds the Representatives that it doesn’t heal all wounds.“Setting aside a day will not get rid of the many problems that indigenous people face everyday in Alaska.” He listed problems like violence, alcoholism, and substandard housing.The original bill suggested the day coincide with Columbus Day, a federal holiday. Governor Bill Walker declared October 12, 2015 Indigenous Peoples Day, but it was a one-time designation.The bill also creates Katie John Day on May 31 in honor of the Ahtna elder who fought to protect subsistence rights. It now goes to the Senate.last_img read more