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j_src_2016a_2016-10-13t09:02:15z13 Hearing Summary

Date: 10/13/2016


5f. Use consistent terminology in C.R.S. regarding American Indians


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11:01 AM -- 5f. Use consistent terminology in C.R.S. regarding American Indians

Jane Ritter introduced the issues discussed in the memo, concerning that there are 326 references to "Indian" in statute, 25 references to "Native American" and 13 references to "American Indian" in statute, and whether these should be made consistent, using a term or terms that are acceptable to the American Indian community.

11:03 AM --
Ernest House, Jr. Executive Director Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs discussed changes at the federal level and the census concerning this terminology, that the term ''Indian" has been phased out and that the Commission has worked with state agencies to update these terms. He offered the resources of his Office to discuss the terminology change with tribes from around the state.

Senator Steadman suggested that instead of, at some point, making them all consistent, that the SRC might consider going into the global definitions statute, and add or update the term to make it more inclusive.

Representative Arndt shared her concern about the potential fiscal impact of these changes. Mr. House shared that this is a concern for him as well.

Representative Thurlow suggested that the proposed legislation was outside of the scope of the committee and was concerned about the floor debate that could arise.

Senator Steadman asked about the scope of the problematic terminology and whether any of the terms were offensive or disfavored, or if the terminology was merely inconsistent not problematic.

Rather than make a motion to pursue a bill draft, Mr. House said he would pursue conversations with tribes from around the state to nail down the preferred language and have a more specific discussion about the consistency of terminology. .

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