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Statement Endorsing the Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda

The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) formally endorses the Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda.

  1. Honor Indigenous Peoples Day Replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day to celebrate Indigenous resilience and survival. The change acknowledges the true histories of colonialism, genocide, and racism that Native peoples have experienced and continue to face. Bills: An Act establishing an Indigenous Peoples Day (S.2027/H.3191)

  2. Protect Native American Heritage Ensure Native American funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony held in governmental or non-profit collections are not sold for profit. Bills: An Act to protect Native American heritage (S.2239/H.3377 & S.2240/H.3385)

  3. Remove Racist Mascots Prohibit Native American mascots in Massachusetts public schools. Bill: An Act prohibiting the use of Native American mascots by public schools in the Commonwealth (S.2493)

  4. Celebrate and Teach Native American Culture & History Develop a curriculum by working with tribal nations in-state and ensure that all children in the schools attain cultural competency in understanding Native history, cultures and current issues. Bills: An act relative to celebrating Native American culture and history (S.382/H.651)

  5. Educate Native Youth Improve educational outcomes and opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students. Bill: An Act providing for the creation of a permanent commission relative to the education of American Indian and Alaska Native residents of the Commonwealth (H.582)

This slate of bills before the 2021-2022 Massachusetts legislative session is supported by a coalition of allies led by the following organizations:

The AHRC stands with these organizations and all Indigenous peoples in supporting, celebrating, and protecting their cultures in Arlington and Massachusetts in the face of the genocide, persecution, and discrimination they have faced for centuries. Arlington has changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. It is working to remove inappropriate Native American imagery from our schools (none of the current imagery represents official mascots). School curriculum updates are underway.

What you can do to help:

  • You (and/or your organization) can endorse the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda online.

  • Contact your state Senator and Representative to encourage them to support these bills. Perhaps more importantly, encourage your friends and family in other districts to contact their reps, especially those who have not yet expressed their commitment.

  • Learn more about Indigenous peoples: the tribes in your area, their history, culture, Indigenous Peoples Day, the National Day of Mourning, etc.

Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.

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Phone: 781-316-3250

By Mail: 27 Maple Street

Arlington, MA 02476


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