Gov. Fallin vetoes bill that would have established Native American Day in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has vetoed a bill that would have established Native American Day in the state. 

House Bill 2661 would have established Oct. 8 as Native American Day in Oklahoma. Oct. 8 is currently Columbus Day in the state.

Fallin vetoed the bill on Thursday. She released the following statement:

"I believe combining a new Native American Day designation with the current Columbus Day holiday could be viewed as an intentional attempt to diminish the long-standing support of November being proclaimed annually as Native American Heritage Month in Oklahoma, and the third Monday in November as 'Oklahoma Native American Day.'"

The bill intended to give Oklahomans the occasion to commemorate the accomplishments of Native Americans in the state. Teachers and schools would have been asked to observe the day. 

The bill had passed the Oklahoma House and Senate.

The city of Tulsa celebrated Native American Day during October 2017. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum says the city plans to celebrate Native American Day, which was established as an addition to Columbus Day, again in 2018. 

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