Why Arizona is recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day for the first time ever

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By azcentral podcasts and The Arizona Republic. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

On Monday, for the first time ever, Arizona will recognize Indigenous Peoples Day. It's a move that State Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai has been working toward for years.

"The United States is first and foremost, and always has been and always will be, Indigenous peoples' sacred homeland," Peshlakai said.

On Sept. 4, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed a proclamation recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day. Similar to the city of Phoenix's 2016 shift, the move does not replace Columbus Day, which falls on the same date, as a state holiday. And since it's a proclamation instead of legislation, this year will be the only year Indigenous Peoples Day is recognized by the state.

At least for now.

Pehslakai has plans to introduce legislation in 2021 to push for Indigenous Peoples Day to replace Columbus Day, but that move won't come without opposition.

In today's episode of Valley 101, a podcast from The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com, we're looking at the history behind the movement for Indigenous Peoples Day. The episode is hosted by Shondiin Silversmith, an Indigenous Affairs reporter for the Republic, and produced by podcast editor Katie O'Connell.

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