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Vermont Ditches Columbus Day, Renames Holiday To Honor Native Americans

Lawmakers in Vermont put forth a bill to the governor to recognize second Monday in October as Indigenous People's Day. (Harshil Shah/flickr)
Lawmakers in Vermont put forth a bill to the governor to recognize second Monday in October as Indigenous People's Day. (Harshil Shah/flickr)

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.

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."

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