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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Boston recognizes and honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Children+in+indigenous+garb+on+top+of+the+former+statue+of+Christopher+Columbus+in+Christopher+Columbus+Park+in+Bostons+North+End+neighborhood.+
James Bartlett
Children in indigenous garb on top of the former statue of Christopher Columbus in Christopher Columbus Park in Boston’s North End neighborhood.

The City of Boston celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the first time on Oct. 11 after Mayor Kim Janey officially changed the name of the holiday earlier this month. 

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation two days later nationally recognizing Oct. 11 as Indigenous People’s Day. 

“We must never forget the centuries-long campaign of violence, displacement, assimilation and terror wrought upon Native communities and tribal nations throughout our country,” Biden said in the proclamation. “I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

While the date is nationally recognized as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, federally, it is still recognized as Columbus Day.

On Saturday, Indigenous groups took to the Boston Common, demanding that Gov. Charlie Baker declare Indigenous People’s Day a statewide holiday. 

Raquel Halsey, the executive director of the North American Indian Center of Boston, spoke at Christopher Columbus Park during the rally about the importance of changing the name of the holiday.

“We just want to be able to say Indigenous Peoples’ Day is not Columbus Day,” Halsey said. “We want acknowledgement for our pain and suffering.” 

This year, Suffolk University referred to the day as October Break on its academic calendar. 

Suffolk’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI) acknowledged Indigenous Peoples’ Day in a post on Instagram.

“Honoring Columbus Day celebrates a legacy of genocide and perpetuates ongoing racism and neocolonialism towards Indigenous peoples,” the Instagram post read.

Individuals looking to learn more about the history of Indigenous lands in their area can text their zip code or city and state to ​​907-312-5085.

Leo Woods contributed to the reporting in this article.

Follow William and Shealagh on Twitter @WoodringWill and @ShealaghS.

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William Woodring
William Woodring, Senior Editor-at-Large | he/him
Will is a senior majoring in public relations. He is originally from Medway, Massachusetts. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music, writing, reading, and running. He is interested in political journalism and hopes to go into politics after graduating. Follow Will on X @woodringwill
Shealagh Sullivan
Shealagh Sullivan, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Shealagh is a senior majoring in journalism with a minor in international relations from Ashby, Massachusetts. She has previously worked as a co-op for the Boston Globe on the homepage desk and as an intern for GBH News and Boston Public Radio. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, finding a new favorite coffee spot and exploring Boston. She is a huge art lover and wants nothing more than to see the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. After graduation, Shealagh hopes to be a political journalist in Washington D.C. Follow Shealagh on X @ShealaghS.
James Bartlett
James Bartlett, Multimedia Editor | he/him
James Bartlett is a senior studying print and web journalism. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, James has a strong interest in photojournalism and new journalism tools such as podcasting and user-generated content. James is currently a Web Journalist at WHDH Channel 7 and has previously worked at Boston.com and the Newburpoty Daily News. Follow James on Twitter @James_bartlett8 Email him at [email protected]
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Boston recognizes and honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day