Formed in 2018, the Indigenous Peoples’ Advocacy Committee (IPAC), an action arm of NFSJ, promotes critical analysis of historical representations and increased understanding of contemporary challenges facing Indigenous Peoples, including those who lived on the land now recognized as Winchester. IPAC also advocates with other grassroots groups for the rights of Indigenous Peoples at the town and state level.
As one step toward carrying out our equity and anti-racism initiative, I would like to acknowledge that we are holding this meeting on the ancestral homeland of the Massachusett people, who
lived here for thousands of years before European colonists began arriving about 1630.
In the 1600’s, the Massachusett were led by the Saunkswa of Missitekw (called the Squaw Sachem by the colonists), who led her people through epidemics, wars, and displacement. We acknowledge that Winchester exists within a region where lands were taken under unjust and violent circumstances, causing a forced relocation that continues to have harmful effects on native communities.
As part of the town government of Winchester, we recognize our responsibility, now, to be good stewards of this land.
And we acknowledge that Massachusett, Wampanoag, and other Indigenous people from across the country currently live in Winchester and throughout the state and contribute to our community in myriad ways.
Courtesy of the Winchester Select Board
–Information sheet about Sachem mascot, created by IPAC members
–Web resources for parents and teachers curated by IPAC members
–Native American Children’s Literature Recommended Reading List by First Nations Development Institute
–Changing the Narrative about Native Americans: a Guide for Allies by First Nations Development Institute
–To Challenge the Settler Colonial Narrative of Native Americans in Social Studies Curriculum article
–Winchester Students for Native Mascot Change group page
-Report from Native American Rights Fund Obstacles at Every Turn: Barriers to Political Participation Faced by Native American Voters
If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Indigenous Peoples’ Advocacy Committee
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