“Indigenous People’s Day” Bill Gets First-Round Approval

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraskans could end up celebrating the lives and culture of Native Americans every October under a bill that received first-round approval in the Legislature Wednesday.

“Indigenous People’s Day” would be a state holiday on the second Monday of October, coinciding with but not replacing Columbus Day.

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln said she initially sought to eliminate Columbus Day but faced push-back from members of Nebraska’s Italian-American community and decided to go the shared date route. Pansing Brooks says she introduced the bill to recognize the importance of Native people

Critics of Columbus Day have argued the holiday’s namesake, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, subjected native peoples to violence, slavery, disease and forced conversions to Christianity.

The Unicameral also gave unanimous first-round approval to a bill shielding people from prosecution if they break into a locked car to save a child’s life.

The measure is in response to cases where children have died because their parents unintentionally left them in a hot car. It extends criminal and civil immunity to anyone who saves a child from a locked vehicle.

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