State Watch

Maine officially replaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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Maine has become the latest state to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day to honor Native American communities.

Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed the legislation, which had bipartisan support in the state legislature, into law on Friday.

The measure was approved in the state Senate earlier this month with a 19-14 vote after passing in the Maine House on a 88-51 vote in March.{mosads}

“Our history is by no means perfect. But, for too long, it has been written and presented in a way that fails to acknowledge our shortcomings,” Mills said in a statement.

“There is power in a name and in who we choose to honor. Today, we take another step in healing the divisions of the past, in fostering inclusiveness, in telling a fuller, deeper history, and in bringing the State and Maine’s tribal communities together to build a future shaped by mutual trust and respect.”

Columbus Day is still a federal holiday but Maine joins Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, South Dakota, Oregon, Minnesota and Hawaii in replacing it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed legislation on Thursday that recognizes Native American Day at the same time as Columbus Day, rather than replacing it.

“I think moving it to Columbus Day, I don’t see any downside to it at all,” Stitt said. “It just gives us one opportunity to celebrate Columbus, but also the indigenous people here in America.”

Tags Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples' Day Janet Mills Janet Mills Maine Maine Native American communities

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