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Maine Celebrates First Indigenous People's Day

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Mainer's are celebrating a new holiday.

Maine lawmakers officially replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous People's Day which is being marked for the first time on Monday.

Lawmakers decided to rename the holiday that honored Christopher Columbus because atrocities he and other European explorers committed. Maine tribal leaders say they hope the new holiday will lead to more understanding of the history and culture of the four tribes in Maine.

Maine joins Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, Minnesota, Oregon, Hawaii and South Dakota in passing similar laws, supplanting the holiday name that has been celebrated nationwide since 1937.

But it's not without some controversy. The mayor of Waterville, Nick Isgro, read a proclamation aimed at keeping the Columbus Day name at a council meeting on Oct. 1.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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