Columbus Day Or Indigenous Peoples Day? Debate Over Holiday Builds

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont’s governor has issued a proclamation rebranding Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day in honor of the “sacrifice and contributions of the First Peoples of this land,” including the Abenaki, their ancestors and allies.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says in the executive proclamation a growing number of cities and towns across the country recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

He says the day is an opportunity to celebrate “indigenous heritage and resiliency.”

Columbus Day traditionally recognizes Christopher Columbus’s 1492 arrival in the Americas.

The state Commission on Native American Affairs says the first British settlement in the state was at Fort Dummer in Brattleboro in 1724.

The movement to change the day started in Berkeley in 1992 after a group wanted to remind people of the genocide of indigenous people it says Columbus started.

California considered changing Columbus Day to Native American Day in 2013. That bill did not reach the governor’s desk.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


One Comment

  1. G says:

    I could never figure out why they ever had that day to begin with. He never hit our mainland, he actually didn’t know where he was and they named a day after the fkr. The Vikings were here hundreds of years before him on actual American soil. And they didn’t discover it either. There were already people living here.

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