Maine latest to ditch Columbus Day, honor Native Americans

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is joining a small but growing number of states that have renamed Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Friday that “there is power in a name and who we choose to honor” before signing a law that drops the state’s recognition of the federal holiday.

The October holiday will now be called Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Maine.

Demands to do away with Columbus Day date to the 1970s. Native American tribes are pressing for the change, pointing to atrocities they suffered.

There now appears to be growing momentum to swap celebrating explorer Christopher Columbus for a tribute to Native Americans. New Mexico and Vermont have moved to do so this year.

Critics say that suppressing history could lead to repeating it.

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