September 22, 2019
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Vermont renames Columbus Day

Bebeto Matthews | AP
Bebeto Matthews | AP
A Christopher Columbus statue is seen at Manhattan's Columbus Circle in New York, Aug. 27, 2017.

Vermont has joined a handful of states in renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law on Friday recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

A half dozen states, including Vermont, and several cities, have made the change.

[Janet Mills signs bill to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day]

The governors of Maine and New Mexico signed similar measures last month.

Native American tribes and others say celebrating Italian explorer Christopher Columbus ignores the effect that the European arrival in the Americas had on the native peoples, who suffered violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation at the hands of the settlers.

Vermont’s law states that “Vermont was founded and built upon lands whose original inhabitants were Abenaki people and honors them and their ancestors.”

Related: Native Americans, indigenous people say they will be ‘Idle No More’ at Portland rally

 



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