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Senate passes bill to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo

SANTA FE — New Mexico would replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day under legislation that passed the Senate on a 22-15 vote Friday.

The legislation, House Bill 100, was already approved in the House, so it will move next to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Democratic Reps. Derrick Lente of Sandia Pueblo and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe jointly sponsored the proposal, and Sen. Benny Shendo Jr., D-Jemez Pueblo, presented the bill on the Senate floor.

Supporters said changing the name of the holiday — celebrated on the second Monday of October — would better reflect New Mexico’s culture.

Native Americans make up more than 12 percent of New Mexico’s total population, according to 2017 U.S. Census data.

New Mexico would become the fourth state to do away with Columbus Day, joining South Dakota, Hawaii and Oregon.


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