WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) released the following statement in commemoration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
“Native peoples have lived in the land we now call New Mexico and the United States for generations. I am honored to work with the Pueblos and Tribes in New Mexico and with the Tribal Nations across Indian Country.
“As part of that work, I am proud to stand with Tribes and Pueblos who have led the way to re-frame this national holiday to honor all of the significant contributions and diverse cultures of Tribal communities.
“Indigenous Peoples’ Day is an opportunity not only to acknowledge and heal from painful history, but also to celebrate the enduring strength and resilience of Tribal Nations.
“On this Indigenous Peoples’ Day, I remain fully committed to uplifting Tribal communities and supporting Tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”
Earlier this month, Heinrich introduced legislation to replace the official holiday recognized on the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The bill would also replace any mention of Columbus Day in all federal laws or regulations withIndigenous Peoples’ Day.
More than a dozen states across the country have recognized this change, including New Mexico. In 2021, President Joe Biden became the first U.S. President to formally commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a federal holiday is a necessary next step to address generations of trauma and inequity.