Montana Public Radio

Columbus Day

Drummers at the UM oval during an Indegenous Peoples Day celebration in Missoula, Oct. 14, 2019.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana still officially celebrates October 14 as Columbus Day, but a handful of cities here have replaced it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

Some local leaders refuse to recognize a day that they say glorifies colonization and mistreatment of Native Americans. Missoula is one of those cities.

Tonight on Capitol Talk: State lawmakers are buckling-down on a number of issues, including increased oversight of non-profit schools for troubled teens; what infrastructure projects to support or reject; what to cut or support in the health department; and whether ratepayers should bear the burden of keeping Colstrip's coal plant going.

Learn more now on Capitol Talk.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

A bill that would rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day in Montana had its first hearing in a Senate committee Wednesday after clearing the House last month.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / MTPR

The Montana House of Representatives gave initial approval to remove Columbus Day from the list of state legal holidays and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day.

The House voted 62-38 to approve the creation of Indigenous Peoples Day, on the second Monday in October.

Lawmakers Consider Changing Columbus Day To 'Montana Heritage Day'

Feb 8, 2017
Posthumous portrait of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519. There are no known authentic portraits of Columbus.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, online collection (PD)

Lawmakers in Helena are considering changing the name of Columbus Day to Montana Heritage Day. Many proponents of House Bill 322, including Democratic Rep. Bridget Smith of Wolf Point, say part of the bill is about correcting misinformation about the discovery of America.

Montana Legislator Proposes Renaming Columbus Day

Jun 20, 2016

A Montana lawmaker is proposing that the Legislature rename Columbus Day with a name that celebrates Native Americans.