This virtual gathering was broadcast live on Sunday, October 18th, 2020
You can watch this program at https://youtu.be/bvDOOmNfRrU
This program was centered on listening to Indigenous voices – along with acts of solidarity, interfaith prayers, and song from non-Indigenous allies.
Welcome by program host / MC Rhonda Anderson — Iñupiaq-Athabascan
Commissioner of Indian Affairs for Western Massachusetts, co-founder of Ohketeau Cultural Center
Opening Nipmuc prayer & song — Larry Spotted Crow Mann
Land acknowledgment: David Brule — Nehantic, President of Nolumbeka Project
Spoken beside the Connecticut River at Unity Park in Turners Falls MA – near site of the 1676 Great Falls massacre &
the 2004 Reconciliation Ceremony between Narragansett Tribe & the Town of Montague.
Call to justice: Sr. Clare Carter — New England Peace Pagoda
John “Jim” Peters, Jr. — Massachusetts Commissioner of Indian Affairs
“400 year Wampanoag experience under European colonization”
(Note: due to technical issues, Peters’ had to be delayed until following Rev. Gallagher’s talk.)
Rev. Kelly Gallagher – Southern New England UCC Justice & Witness Ministries
“European Christian belief in a God-given right to conquer, enslave, and kill Indigenous people”
Bryan Blanchette — Nulhegan Abenaki musician
A new original song “Truth”
Larry Spotted Crow Mann — Nipmuc author, cultural educator & singer, co-founder of Ohketeau Cultural Center.
“We are the Story of the Land. The Nipmuc People of Central and Western Massachusetts are still here and continue
to honor our culture.”
Stephanie Morningstar — Oneida, Executive Director of NEFOC Land Trust
“Recovering unceded Native lands across Turtle Island”
Leah Penniman — Soul Fire Farm Reclaiming Afro-Indigenous Regenerative Farming Practices:
“Decolonized ways of growing food that collaborate with ecosystems, rooted in indigenous African & indigenous Turtle Island growing techniques”
Rhonda Anderson — Iñupiaq-Athabascan, Commissioner of Indian Affairs for Western Massachusetts
“Respecting the Rights to Our Identity: Regaining control over our identities and representation”
Senator Jo Comerford — “The essential role that towns, faith communities, groups, and individuals play in getting laws advancing Native rights & respect passed through the Legislature & signed by the Governor”
John Sheldon — musician. Song: “The Same Water”
Filmed in Unity Park beside the Quinetucket (“beside the long, tidal river”) / Connecticut River. John participated in the 2016 protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Closing remarks: Rhonda Anderson