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Empty Vermont State House, where the apology was given

Photo of Vermont State House by Don Shall on Flickr

MONTPELIER — Legislative leaders formally apologized on Saturday for Vermont’s early 20th century state-sanctioned eugenics movement, which targeted Indigenous people and other groups. 

Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski, D-Burlington, and Senate President Pro Tempore Becca Balint, D-Windham, read the apology from the floor of the State House, standing before approximately 30 members of the public, including a number of Indigenous people — some from the Abenaki tribes of the region.

“While eugenics practices and policies are no longer in existence, the impact and legacy deeply remains today,” Krowinski said. “For those that were directly impacted or their descendants, and for all of the communities involved, we cannot undo the trauma that this moment has caused, but we can start by formally acknowledging this dark period in our state’s history.” 

“We publicly apologize for the legislature’s role in allowing for this to occur. We are sorry, and I am sorry,” Krowinski said. 

The eugenics movement used forced sterilizations and other practices in an attempt to wipe out targeted populations who... see more