Brattleboro’s Representative Town Meeting members will be considering Article 22 on the 2017 Annual Warning this Saturday, March 25th, 2017. From Chris Mays’ article in the Brattleboro Reformer’s article following last Wednesday’s (3/15) informational meeting:
“The last article asks whether the town should advise the Select Board to proclaim the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day.
“Why Indigenous Peoples’ Day?” asked Rich Holschuh, who petitioned for inclusion of the article. “It’s because its time has come. It’s a good year, with Standing Rock in the headlines and the move nationwide to embracing those who have not been embraced in the past. It’s a nationwide movement. It’s going across the country.”
He said two to three dozen communities have already made the change. Last week, the town of Marlboro did.
“They were the first in the state,” Holschuh said. “I was hoping to be first. We can be second. Why Brattleboro? I think Brattleboro can offer a great deal of leadership on this because this is where colonization began in the state. Fort Dummer, 1724. This is where the process of displacing the Indigenous People of this area, which are the Abenaki, began and it continues. It’s highly symbolic and I think it’s an important thing to do.”
Senator Daniel Christmas, First Mi’kmaw Appointed to the Canadian Senate
Dan Christmas never knew what or where his journey would take him. He just knew his father’s teachings would buoy him along the way — and that was going to be more than good enough.
The oldest of six children, Christmas often found himself in a leadership role in his Membertou-based family at a young age. He encouraged his younger siblings, gave a hand to his mother around the house when needed, and even joined his dad at his various work spots.
But when Christmas and his family were hit with the unexpected passing of their father, he was thrust into what would be his eventual full-time calling in life — leading — and he hasn’t looked back since.
Read more at danielnpaul.com.
A full story was assembled after an interview by Vermont Public Radio reporter Howard Weiss-Tisman on Friday, Oct. 7, the day after Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the Proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day. The story was posted today, Oct. 8th (audio to follow). Read it here.
Several other media stories have been released following the Oct. 6, 2016 action by Vermont Gov. Shumlin. WPTZ-NBC TV Channel 5 in Burlington rolled in the ongoing exploration of similar action in Hartford, VT.
Clink link for full report:
WPTZ – NBC
On October 6, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proclaimed the second Monday of October, Oct. 10, 2016, to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day, “re-imagining Columbus Day as an opportunity to celebrate indigenous heritage and resiliency.”
In particular, this phrase stands out to me:
…the State of Vermont recognizes that it was founded and is built upon lands first inhabited by the Indigenous Peoples of this region – the Abenaki and their ancestors and allies – and acknowledges and honors these members of the community, both past and present.
The archived proclamation can be found on the Governor’s website here.
The Selectboard of the Town of Brattleboro, Vermont has placed a noteworthy matter on the agenda for their upcoming October 4, 2016 regular meeting. Under New Business, Item G is a “Proposal to Proclaim the Second Monday in October as ‘Indigenous People’s Day’.” Link to the agenda online here. I submitted a draft resolution with a request that it be considered and am happy to see that it has been added to the evening’s business.
Please come out to support this action and encourage the Board to approve this long-overdue change.
The Penobscot Nation is formally vacating a seat the tribe has held in the Maine Legislature for more than 150 years and, instead, plans to select an ambassador to work with the state and federal governments.
More than a mere title change, the switch from non-voting state representative to a full-time “government relations ambassador” is a symbolic and historic shift that reflects the tensions between state officials and leaders of Maine’s federally recognized Indian tribes, most notably the Penobscots and the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
Full story at the Portland Press-Herald.