Why Was Columbus Day Changed to Indigenous Peoples Day?
Today in Maine, we're celebrating Indigenous Peoples' Day, which was renamed this year in a ruling by Governor Janet Mills. But, why was the change made?
I think it's pretty common knowledge that, in April, Mills signed into law a bill that changes the name of today's holiday, from Columbus Day, to Indigenous Peoples' Day. But I'm not sure everyone is really sure what that means. This national effort is meant to honor the indigenous people of the United States, who often dealt with violence at the hands of European explorers as the newcomers staked their claim to the North American territory.
At the bill's signing, Governor Mills explained that our history is not perfect, and has often been written in a way that fails to acknowledge our shortcomings. "Today, we take another step in healing the divisions of the past," Mills said at the signing, "in fostering inclusiveness, in telling a fuller, deeper history, and in bringing the State of Maine's tribal communities together to build a future shaped by mutual trust and respect."
This is still a federal holiday, meaning there will be no mail delivery today, federal offices and banks will be closed, and the kids get a day off from school.