Asked Presidential Candidate Kamala Harris about Indigenous People’s Day

Kalama Harris on Indigenous People's Day

Watch the video:

Crystal Paradis: Speaking of truth telling an holidays, we have a bill here in New Hampshire, HB 221 to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day. To those who might not feel like that’s more than just a superficial issue, what that meant to me as someone who was born and raised and went to school here in New Hampshire, was, Columbus got a lot of focus, and he never stepped foot on mainland North America, genocidal history aside. And we didn’t get a chance to elevate the voices of Indigenous people here in New Hampshire who are still here in New Hampshire but are being erased and marginalized every day. So I’m wondering, would you support efforts on the federal level to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day, and why does that matter so much.

Kamala Harris: Yes.

And why it matters is, to your very point: we have to remember our history. And this really goes back to the last question about our morals and our compass and our goals and our aspirations. We have to remember our history. Uncomfortable, to your point about truths, though it may make us.  So, last week — so we wrote a bill in my office, okay — 200 years it couldn’t get passed in the US Senate — we wrote a bill to make lynching a federal crime. It finally got passed, in the Senate and it still gotta go over to the House. Here’s the thing — why, you ask, why in the Year of our Lord 2019 only is this happening? And part of it is because people did not want to deal and accept and most importantly admit, that we are the scene of a crime, when it comes to what we did with slavery and Jim Crow and institutional racism in this country. We have to be honest about that. We have to be honest. Because if we’re not honest, we are, one: not going to deal with the vestiges of all that harm, and we’re not going to correct course, and we’re not going to be true to our values and our morals.

And so, similarly, when it comes to indigenous Americans, the indigenous people, there is a lot of work that we still have to do. And so I appreciate and I applaud your point and your effort, and count me in on support.