1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007
Senator Albert Hale, D-2
June 29, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Caucus of Native American State Legislatures passes resolution against ethnic studies ban
STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix –The National Caucus of Native American State Legislatures passed a resolution opposing HB 2281 – Arizona’s new law that prohibits certain ethnic studies in the state’s education system. The resolution, sponsored by Arizona State Senator Albert A. Hale, was adopted unanimously at the Caucus’ annual meeting in Washington, DC last week.
“For all children to be productive members of society, they must learn about all cultures that exist in this country. Learning about other cultures and groups of people teaches tolerance and widens perspectives,” Sen. Hale said. “It is important for Native American and non-Native students to learn not only about the history of the U.S. government, but also the history of tribes.”
The resolution states that an understanding between cultures must be done through truthful teaching and explanations of historical differences. It further states that HB 2281 impacts the ability of all students to know about Americans from different perspectives.
“If this is to be law in Arizona then the state and the United States must remove official documents such as the Declaration of Independence from its educational materials because said documents possess negative references to Native Americans,” Sen. Hale said. “The Declaration of Independence specifically refers to Native Americans as ‘merciless Indian savages, whose known warfare is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.’ This statement is a blatant resentment toward Native Americans.”
The Caucus will oppose efforts by other states to adopt same or similar law. A copy of the resolution will be sent to the United States Congress and the President.