The name change came during a signing ceremony where Democratic Gov. Janet Mills was surrounded by state lawmakers and tribal leaders, according to a news release from her office.
The bill was dubbed “LD 179 An Act To Change the Name of Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”
“Our history is by no means perfect. But, for too long, it has been written and presented in a way that fails to acknowledge our shortcomings,” Mills said. “There is power in a name and in who we choose to honor.”
“Today, we take another step in healing the divisions of the past, in fostering inclusiveness, in telling a fuller, deeper history, and in bringing the State and Maine’s tribal communities together to build a future shaped by mutual trust and respect,” she continued.
The federal holiday in October is in honor of explorer Christopher Columbus.
With Maine's move, there are now five states that permanently honor indigenous people instead on the federal holiday, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Governors in four other states regularly issue proclamations honoring Native Americans on Columbus Day.
Native American tribes and others reportedly say celebrating the explorer ignores the effect the European arrival in the Americas had on the native peoples, who suffered violence, disease, enslavement, racism and exploitation at the hands of the settlers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.