Boston: Council Offers Land Acknowledgement

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During this week's Council meeting, Councilor Breadon offered a land acknowledgement to recognize Indigenous Peoples as the traditional stewards of this sacred land where we work, live, learn, and build community. She opened her speech saying, "We may often overlook that this land was inhabited by Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples for hundreds of generations before Europeans arrived on these shores. This is reflected in some place names we use today -- such as Massachusetts, Mattapan, Merrimack, Neponset, and Shawmut."

This land acknowledgement is based on and modified from the Upstander Project, a Boston-based organization committed to challenging indifference to injustice by raising awareness and sharing resources to encourage upstanders -- those who stand up, speak out, and take action against injustice.

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"This land is the territory of the Massachusett, Pawtucket, and their neighbors the Wampanoag, and Nipmuc Peoples, who have stewarded this land for hundreds of generations. We recognize the repeated violations of sovereignty, territory, and water perpetrated by invaders that have impacted the original inhabitants of this land for 400 years," said Councilor Breadon.

She continued, "We recognize the repeated violations of sovereignty, territory, and water perpetrated by invaders that have impacted the original inhabitants of this land for 400 years. We extend our respect to citizens of these Nations who live here today, and their ancestors who have lived here for over five hundred generations, and to all Indigenous people. We also affirm that this acknowledgement is insufficient. It does not undo the harm that has been done and continues to be perpetrated now against Indigenous people, their land and water."

This week, Acting Mayor Janey signed an executive order declaring the second Monday of October to be Indigenous Peoples' Day in the City of Boston.

Filed Under: Government, City

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