Lawmakers approve designating Indigenous Peoples Day

JUNEAU — Columbus Day would be known as Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska under a measure passed by the state Legislature.

The bill, which passed with broad bipartisan support, next goes to Gov. Bill Walker.

For the past two years, Walker has issued proclamations declaring the second Monday in October — recognized federally as Columbus Day — to be Indigenous Peoples Day.

Columbus Day is a federal holiday but not a state holiday in Alaska.

In a statement, Rep. Dean Westlake of Kotzebue says his bill does not replace Columbus Day but establishes a day of recognition that honors the “intermingling of cultures that makes Alaska such a great place to live.”