Bedford, MA officially celebrates
Indigenous Peoples Day!
On May 15, 2021, Annual Town Meeting voted resoundingly in favor of Article 34, making Bedford the twentieth community in Massachusetts to designate the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day!
Celebrate with us! Learn more about our inaugural Indigenous Peoples Day Bomba celebration on Oct. 2 here and look for us at Bedford Day on Sept. 18th!
We acknowledge that Bedford is located on the traditional, unceded lands of the Massachusett Tribe. We pay our respects to them and to their Penacook and Nipmuc neighbors who have stewarded this land since time immemorial and are still here today. We also recognize that people of Indigenous descent from across the Americas live, work, and attend school in Bedford. We honor their many contributions to our community.
"By keeping this holiday [Columbus Day], we are teaching the next generation that a man whose atrocities were condemned in his time, should have his cruelties overlooked in our time. Do we want to raise children who ignore violence? When we learn and remember the names of Columbus' three ships more than people he brutalized, we are participating in actively making people and history invisible. With only 2% Indigenous people in the U.S. (2010 Census), do we want to contribute to cultural genocide?
The Arawak, Taino, Carib and other tribal nations populated the Caribbean islands and contributed many gifts to the world as we know it, including words to the English language, such as, hurricane, tobacco, hammock, canoe, barbecue, and cigar. The Arawak sacrifice and interaction created the first ongoing relationship with Europe that would open up contact with other Indigenous people who propagated and engineered crops that have become staples around the world. Isn't that something truly worth celebrating?”
~ Claudia Fox Tree (Arawak), Educator, Indigenous rights activist, and former longtime resident of Bedford
“Columbus Day for us is a constant reminder that the genocide and atrocities committed by the early colonists against the indigenous is not only accepted but celebrated. Bedford is the ancestral land of the Massachusett tribe. Why not celebrate this? We must stop this insanity of honoring and celebrating figures throughout history who have no place in our society today.”
~ Faries Gray, Sagamore, Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag