A Joint Committee hearing on the statewide Indigenous Peoples Day bill is happening May 7th.
Please submit letters and attend the hearing if you can!
The Massachusetts Indigenous Peoples Day coalition is calling for individuals and organizations to submit written testimony before May 7 in support of a statewide Indigenous Peoples Day bill.
Below are all the details you’ll need to help you do this. Original letters have the most impact! Please add your own words when writing your letter, which can be sent via email to speed up the process.
Please join us at the hearing on Tuesday, May 7th at the Massachusetts State House – (Be prepared to stay all afternoon since there are other items on the committee’s agenda, but if you can’t stay the whole time, stop by anyway to show your support!)
12 noon: Meet on steps outside State House
12:30: Go into hearing room.
1 pm: Hearing starts, with multiple items on agenda. There is no way for us to determine exactly when our Indigenous Peoples Day bill will be heard.
Bill Name: An Act Establishing An Indigenous Peoples Day
House Number: H.3665
Bill Sponsor: Representative Jack Patrick Lewis
- Use your own words as much as possible.
- Send the letter to the attention of the Joint Committee Chairs.
- If you want to help make sure your letter makes it to the entire committee, send a copy to all the committee members, as well.
- Begin your letter with an opening statement of support, then add details in your own words. Refer to the list of statements provided below, if you need help.
- Please send a copy of your letter to: Mahtowin Munro at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is very important so that all the letters can be delivered at the hearing.
To find out more about what you can do to support this and other important legislation involving Indigenous issues in Massachusetts, sign up here.
Testimony Template (use your own words as much as possible)
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02133
Attn: Senator Marc Pacheco and Representative Danielle Gregoire, Joint Committee Chairs of State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee
Re: Committee Hearing May 7th, An Act Establishing Indigenous Peoples Day H.3665
To the Honorable Senator Pacheco and Representative Gregoire:
I am writing in support of the H.3665, An Act Establishing Indigenous Peoples Day. I ask that this bill be reported out of committee with a favorable vote.
[Then, choose one or some of the following points or feel free to write your own points in support:
- I support replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day because by celebrating Christopher Columbus Day we are celebrating genocide.
- By celebrating Columbus Day, we are erasing the true histories of colonialism, genocide and racism that Native peoples have experienced and continue to face.
- Changing the second Monday in October to Indigenous Peoples Day acknowledges the impact of European settlement and celebrates Indigenous resilience and survival in Massachusetts as well as throughout the Americas.
- Cities and towns all over the US have taken this step, and an increasing number of states are doing so now, including Maine, Vermont, New Mexico, Alaska, and Minnesota.
- Celebrating Columbus in Massachusetts sends the wrong message to our young people, making them believe that he was a hero when in fact he and his men engaged in the most horrific abuses.
- By continuing to celebrate Christopher Columbus Day, we perpetuate the myths about him and teach generation after generation an untrue history and ignore the harm caused by colonialism.
- Indigenous peoples have been asking for this change since at least the 1970s, and Native peoples in Massachusetts have asked for this change. By honoring this request, we celebrate Indigenous resilience and survival, and honor them and take an important step towards reconciliation.
I ask that you please report this bill out of committee with a favorable vote and allow the people of Massachusetts to be heard. This important bill deserves a House vote this session and will need your committee’s favorable vote in order for the legislative process to continue. The people of Massachusetts deserve the end of celebrating genocide and instead, to honor the resilience and survival of our Indigenous neighbors.
Here’s where to send your letter (at least send it to the Senate and House Chair):
Senate Chair: Marc Pacheco
Senate Vice Chair: Barry Finegold
House Chair: Danielle Gregoire
House Vice Chair: Sean Garballey