Hartford Plans Vote On Renaming Columbus Day To Indigenous People's Day

May 4, 2017

The town of Hartford will vote next year on whether to change the name of the October holiday "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous People's Day."

At a select board meeting last week, members unanimously agreed to add the measure to next year's March Town Meeting Day ballot.

Select board member Simon Dennis led the charge. He says it would be a step in making the town of Hartford's practices more in line with its values.

“Naturally, we as a town are not people who want to support genocide,” he told VPR. “We don't want to support slavery, and by that token we don't want to be in the business of celebrating individuals who have a record of practicing those things.”

Last year, former Gov. Peter Shumlin declared a renaming of Columbus Day as Indigenous People's Day statewide, but that was not a permanent change.

Last month, the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper reported that Brattleboro had officially changed the name of the holiday to "Indigenous People's Day" locally.