New Mexico scraps Columbus Day for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is doing away with Columbus Day in favor of a holiday honoring Native Americans.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed legislation that creates Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the second Monday in October and strikes Columbus Day from a list of official state holidays.

The initiative from state Rep. Derrick Lente of the Sandia Pueblo tribe in central New Mexico stirred emotional debate at the Legislature.

At least five states stretching from Hawaii to Vermont have done away with Columbus Day celebrations in deference to Native Americans. The federal holiday honoring Italian explorer Christopher Columbus remains in place.

Tributes to European conquerors in many New Mexico communities are being written out of consideration for the state’s 23 American Indian nations and tribes.

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