Vermont renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – Vermont has joined a handful of states– including South Dakota– in renaming Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.

The governor signed a bill earlier this month recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Vermont. The governors of Maine and New Mexico signed similar measures last month.

Former South Dakota Gov. George S. Mickelson recommended the change to Native Americans’ Day in 1990 as part of his “Year of Reconciliation” efforts.

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