Montana House sends bill to rename Columbus Day to Senate

February 15, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana House has approved a proposal to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau of Missoula passed a final House vote 62-35 on Thursday.

The measure now goes to the Senate, which killed a different proposal to rename Columbus Day during the 2017 legislative session.

Morigeau, who is Native American, says Christopher Columbus brutalized indigenous people when he landed in the Western Hemisphere.

Morigeau says celebrating Columbus sends the message to him and other Native Americans that they are second-class citizens.

Republican Rep. John Fuller of Kalispell voted against the bill and defended Columbus. He says the U.S., possibly the greatest nation in human history, might not exist if not for the explorer.