SOUTH BERWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - On Monday, towns and cities across the state of Maine will recognize either Columbus Day or Indigenous People’s Day.
The second Monday in October has been a topic of debate. On Saturday there was a rally in Bangor opposed to the city's resolve to recognize Indigenous People's Day.
“I think it is a day of celebration," said Carla Rigby, the Governor of The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maine. "Of course what would we do without the indigenous people that helped us survive.”
The Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of Maine is just one part of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants across the world. The society is comprised of people who are direct descendants of people aboard the Mayflower of 1620.
"The Indigenous People were great help. And still are great help to our society." said Rigby. "We certainly need them and we need all people's in this nation."
June Sapiel is a member of the Penobscot Nation and has been very active around the state, working with cities and towns to recognize Indigenous People's Day.
“For us it is a healing process," said Sapiel. "So what is happening with all of these people that are helping us to pass Indigenous People’s Day, is it helping us know that you are recognizing our pain, and you are helping us to move forward and to heal.”
As some areas of Maine recognize Indigenous People’s Day and other recognize Columbus Day, Carla Rigby hopes that the day will make people realize standing together in unity makes America stronger.
“I think we have to remember the sacrifices that not only our pilgrims and our indigenous people made," said Rigby. "But that so many people made to establish this wonderful, great nation. Of which we should all be very proud standing together as one people.”