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Maine Senate Supports Legislation To Change Columbus Day To Indigenous Peoples Day

The Maine Senate has voted to support legislation that would change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

In a floor debate prior to the unrecorded vote, supporters of the change argued that explorer Christopher Columbus’ treatment of native people amounts to genocide, and that his historical importance to the American continent has been exaggerated.

Some senators from both parties spoke against the measure, including Republican Senator Paul Davis from Sangerville.

“Rather than trying to cover up what has happened in the past, let’s educate our children on the actions, both positive and negative, of those who have come before us and what has happened in the past,” Davis said.

Because no one requested a roll call vote or division on the bill there is not a record of how senators voted, so it’s not clear how much support it has.

The measure faces further votes in both the house and Senate.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.