Over the last year, the Institute for New England Native American Studies, Suffolk University Law School’s Indigenous Peoples Rights Clinic, Native communities, and non-Native allies met in a series of listening sessions. At these events, we discussed the relationship between Native Peoples in Massachusetts and the state.
Our conclusion, coming out of these listening sessions, was that it was a fractured relationship at best, and a non-existent one at worse. We determined there was much work to be done, and have committed to doing so.
As such, on Saturday, October 1, we will reconvene to discuss the interwoven topics of state recognition, the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, land, and Indian Education. This is a continuation of the working groups we assembled after hosting Benny Shendo, Jr. (Jemez Pueblo) in May. Shendo is the former Secretary for Indian Affairs for New Mexico, and he presented to us a very different kind of relationship between a state and Native Peoples.
Our working groups have discussed emergent themes and topics sparked by Shendo’s presentation. The October 1 event will use the ideas generated by the first round of working groups to move our shared agenda forward.
This event will be one part presentation/update and two parts discussion. We hope that at the end of this meeting, we will have a set of action items on which to move forward.
We look forward to seeing those of you who can make it, and updating those of you who can’t. For more details on the event, visit our events page.