Locals ‘Embarrassed’ After Maine Mayor Proclaims Columbus Day
Waterville, ME Mayor Nick Isgro made waves after renaming October 14th “Columbus Day,” despite the state having passed a law in April renaming it “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
Tuesday night, Waterville held a City Council meeting, and a number of residents stood in protest of the Mayor's recent decision. At issue, is the complicated history of Columbus. According to the Morning Sentinel, Isgro threatened to have Chief of Police remove anyone who talked out of turn. One resident, also a tribal member of the Penobscot Indian Nation was concerned that the story may make the city look out of touch with the rest of American society, and possibly be bad for potential new business.
The Morning Sentinel reported another resident, Kristen Price said “I am embarrassed, time and time again, by the news stories that come out of Waterville.” “Thank you for putting us in the paper for nothing good." Others pointed out the Mayor's right to switch it back to Columbus Day, but were concerned about division over unity.
Not everyone was against the proclamation. Pastor Alan Imes stood to say “It is amazing that we teach tolerance so much and preach it but are extremely intolerant when views are different.”
According to the Morning Sentinel, Isgro’s proclamation praises Christopher Columbus and says “he was a skilled navigator and man of faith who President Benjamin Harrison described as a ‘pioneer of progress and enlightenment.'”