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Reader Opinion: Time for action

This past week the Minnesota Legislature began its new session, with many tasks at hand to initiate or resume. One of the latter is action on HF1858, introduced in the last session having to do with establishing American Indian and Indigenous Peo...

This past week the Minnesota Legislature began its new session, with many tasks at hand to initiate or resume. One of the latter is action on HF1858, introduced in the last session having to do with establishing American Indian and Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October. This is the traditional Columbus Day, recognized as a federal holiday and also in Minnesota law. While we understand that this tradition is of several years standing, many Minnesotans feel that a holiday commemorating Columbus' arrival in the "new world" and his subsequent genocide do not warrant the hero's status of a special holiday. Instead, as many have proposed, such a day's celebrations would better serve our state if it were dedicated to the original native people, their culture and history, with the goal of highlighting current conditions, opportunities for social improvement, breaking down prejudices and improving understanding between races.

What can a person do to further this idea? Contact your local legislators in the House of Representatives, present your ideas on this issue and encourage the committee to send it to the floor for a vote. Now is the time as the window for action is short. The bill's author is Susan Allen ( rep.susan.allen@house.mn ) and the chair for the committee, Government Operations and Election Policy, is Tim Sanders ( rep.tim.sanders@house.mn ).

Mary DeYoung

Pine River

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