In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo, Skowhegan Area High School cheerleaders stand beneath a mural of the school's mascot on the wall of the gymnasium in Skowhegan, Maine. (Michael G. Seamans/Portland Press Herald via AP) Credit: Michael G. Seamans | AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is joining a handful of states that have renamed Columbus Day to honor Native Americans.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Friday that “there is power in a name and who we choose to honor” before signing a bill that drops the state’s recognition of the federal holiday.

The October holiday will now be called Indigenous Peoples Day in Maine. The federal government still officially recognizes the holiday as Columbus Day.

A small but growing number of states, including New Mexico and Vermont, have moved to swap celebrating explorer Christopher Columbus for a tribute to Native Americans.

Demands to do away with Columbus Day date to the 1970s. Native American tribes are pressing for the change, pointing to atrocities they suffered.

Critics say that suppressing history could lead to repeating it.