NEWBURYPORT – Community members will gather on Monday to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day with a recognition of Indigenous lands, a welcoming ritual and a public reading from 11 a.m. to noon at Moseley Woods, 15 Spofford St.
The celebration aims to provide historical education on Indigenous peoples, including the Alogonquin and Pawtucket-Pennacook peoples. It is a family event with music and activities open to everyone, according to a press release. For more information visit www.frsuu.org/indigenouspeoplesday-observance/.
Last month, Newburyport City Council voted 7-4 to approve a resolution recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day.
The Indigenous Peoples Day initiative was a campaign inspired by students at the River Valley Charter School in Newburyport who wrote letters to Mayor Donna Holaday asking for Columbus Day to be renamed Indigenous Peoples Day.
First Religious Society parishioners, educators and students researched the local history of Indigenous peoples and shared their research with the mayor’s office and asked the city to change the name from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Monday’s program will begin with a community solidarity opening circle with drumming, chanting and a ceremony led by regional Indigenous participants Red Dawn, Small Turtle, John Price, Melanie Currier and others.
Holaday will announce the recently approved resolution. Reverend Rebecca Bryan of the First Religious Society will provide recognition of Indigenous lands.
Additional speakers include Edward Speck of Theater in the Open with musical performances by Kristin and Phoenix Miller; Kristine Malpica of Imagine Studios, Lynne Taylor of River Valley Charter School and Meg Rayne.
Manual activities for children will also be offered. Immediately after the event, there will be a walking tour on regional indigenous history offered by Malpica.
For more information, contact Cynthia Walsh at [email protected] or call 978-701-5352.