Columbus Day is dead in New Mexico, but lives on in Montana and other states

Columbus Day is dead in New Mexico, but lives on in Montana and other states 1

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

By Victoria Rodriguez

If you’ve picked up a book, then you know Christopher Columbus didn’t discover the America. Not to mention that he represents some morally dubious issues like colonialism and exploitation. So why do lawmakers insist on dedicating a day to him?

In an important step forward, New Mexico ditched the holiday, joining other cities and states including Alaska, Vermont, and Oregon. On Tuesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill to call Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day instead — a step more states and cities should take. 

“This new holiday will mark a celebration of New Mexico’s 23 sovereign indigenous nations and the essential place of honor native citizens hold in the fabric of our great state,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement, according to CNN. “Enacting Indigenous People’s Day sends an important message of reconciliation and will serve as a reminder of our state’s proud native history.”

Despite the good news, however, there is still plenty of progress to be made. On Monday, Montana failed to make Indigenous Peoples’ Day a state holiday after the bill was defeated by a state Senate panel. The committee chair, Rep. Dee Brown, R-Hungry Horse, cited financial reasons. 

“I can’t support another state holiday,” she said. “We are trying to scramble for money for in-home health care for people.”

But … but … he killed people. 

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