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Stockbridge Votes to Change the Flag and Seal

The Town of Stockbridge was “granted” to members of the Stockbridge-Munsee and Mahican tribal nations in 1734, as a so-called “Praying Indian” town. The Massachusetts General Court promised that those five square miles of land [a small parcel of the vast homelands the Munsee and Mahican once inhabited east of the Mahicantuck (Hudson) River] would remain in Native hands, to be held in common and never sold. But after fighting on the side of the American colonists against the English in the Revolutionary War, the Stockbridge-Munsee were dispossessed, pushed west to Oneida territory in New York, then to Indiana, where the land they were promised was sold out from under them, and finally to northeast Wisconsin, where the Menominee Nation took them in and gave them land on their reservation. The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Indians still live in Wisconsin, though the graves of their ancestors remain in Stockbridge.

On Monday, May 16th, the annual town meeting of Stockbridge passed a resolution in support of changing the flag and seal of Massachusetts, by a vote of 43 – 29. After the town of Belmont voted in favor of a similar resolution on May 9th, by a vote of 221 – 20, Stockbridge became the 47th Massachusetts town to vote YES to change the flag and seal. A member of the selectboard, Patrick White, said he would interpret the result as a go-ahead for the Town of Stockbridge to also act on the request of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians to change the Town Seal, which depicts a culturally offensive image of a scantily clad Indigenous person gazing at distant mountains.

The resolutions of support for changing the flag and seal will be forwarded to local legislators, and to the Special Commission Relative to the Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth.

Next Meeting of Special Commission

The next meeting of the special commission charged with making recommendations for changing the flag and seal will take place today, May 17th, at 11 am. The public can watch the proceedings live by going to the Hearings page of the website. Archived hearings of the special commission can be viewed from the ARCHIVES page of this website.

Deadline for S.2027 – the Bill to Create Indigenous Peoples Day for Massachusetts – Extended to June 31st

To support passage of the bill to create Indigenous Peoples Day in Massachusetts (S.2027) call your local legislators ( and also call the Senate and House chairs of the Joint Committee on State Administration: Sen. Marc Pacheco: (617) 722-1551 and Rep. Tony Cabral (617) 722-2017, and urge them to move S.2027 forward with a favorable committee vote TODAY!

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