Action Alert! Indigenous Peoples Day Hearing May 7th – Letters of Support Needed Now

The Joint Committee on State Administration will hold a hearing on Tuesday, May 7th on the bill to establish Indigenous Peoples Day in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Indigenous Peoples Day coalition is calling for individuals and organizations to submit letters in support of Indigenous Peoples Day today, and attend the hearing at the statehouse if you can! All the info you will need to take action is here:
maindigenousagenda.org
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.

Bill Name: An Act Establishing An Indigenous Peoples Day
House Number: H.3665
Bill Sponsor:   Representative Jack Patrick Lewis

Instructions:
  1. Use your own words as much as possible.
  2. Send the letter to the attention of the Joint Committee Chairs: Sen. Marc Pacheco (Marc.Pacheco@masenate.gov) and Rep Danielle Gregoire (Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov).
  3. 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.
  4. Begin your letter with an opening statement of support, then add details in your own words.
  5. Please send a copy of your letter to: Mahtowin Munro at info@uaine.org. This is very important so that all the letters can be delivered at the hearing.
  6. Sample letter template:

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.

Sincerely,

[your name]

[your address]

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