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.
Shumlin’s proclamation only applies to this year. A spokesman tells WPTZ-TV it could be issued yearly by the next governor.