NEWS: Indigenous Peoples Day Legislation Passes House State Affairs Committee

Rep. Harriet Drummond

Rep. Drummond’s House Bill 275 Passes Committee with a Significant Change

March 22, 2016

Juneau — Today, the House State Affairs Committee passed legislation introduced by Representative Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage) to designate Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska.  The bill now goes to the House Rules Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives.

“The story of Alaska is incomplete without the story of our First People who helped shape what it means to be Alaskan,” said Rep. Drummond.  “As we face a troubling fiscal future, let’s remember those who have gone before us and who faced far greater challenges than we do.  Alaska’s indigenous people are an example to us all, because through all the hardships and challenges, they adapted, engineered, created, and survived.”

Rep. Drummond’s original intent was for Indigenous Peoples Day to be established on the second Monday in October.  However, the House State Affairs Committee amended House Bill 275 today to designate October 18th as Indigenous Peoples Day.  This coincides with Alaska Day.

“Alaska Day is a celebration of the U.S. taking ownership of Alaska from Russia, but our indigenous people and culture predate that transfer,” said Rep. Drummond.  “I find it totally appropriate for Alaska Day and Indigenous Peoples Day to be celebrated across this amazing state on the same day.” 

HB 275 is a follow up to Governor Walker’s 2015 proclamation that set a one-year observance of Indigenous Peoples Day.  Rep. Drummond’s bill would make the observance of Indigenous Peoples Day permanent.

For more information, contact Miguel Rohrbacher in Rep. Drummond’s office at 907-465-3875.



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