BOZEMAN – A Montana lawmaker is proposing that the Legislature rename Columbus day with a name that celebrates Native Americans.
State Rep. Bridget Smith, D-Wolf Point, submitted a bill request last week that would change the holiday to celebrate indigenous people instead of the explorer.
Smith says Columbus has a legacy of cruelty and slavery and that he and his exploratory crew committed atrocities on Native Americans.
Montana would not be the first state to enact legislation changing the holiday. In 1989, South Dakota established the second Monday in October, federally recognized as Columbus Day, as Native American Day. Earlier this year, the Bozeman City Commission adopted a similar measure.