MassBay land acknowledgement plaque installed
MassBay Community College last week unveiled a permanent land acknowledgement plaque in a ceremony attended by chiefs of three native tribes. MassBay is believed to be the first community college in Massachusetts to make this public acknowledgement with a permanent marker and a ceremony of reconciliation and healing. During the ceremony the college announced an Indigenous People Scholarship had been formed for current and future MassBay students, for which fundraising has begun.
“Today Indigenous people became visible,” said Chief Ladybug (Croatan) Native Heritage New England and Program Chair for Health Studies at MassBay. “As a Massachusetts indigenous person, today’s land acknowledgement that MassBay Community College campuses sits on land that belongs to the Nipmuc, Pawtucket, and Massachusetts tribes was historic for me, my family, and my tribe. Acknowledgment is the first steps to our tribal healing.”
Nine tribes were present at the gathering including Croatan, Ponkapoag, Mi’kmaq, Mohawk, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Wampanoag, Natick Praying Indians, and the Nipmuc. Chief Black Wolf of the Nipmuc, Chief Eagle Rising (Mi’kmaq) from the Great Lowell Indian Cultural Association, and 8-year-old Sophia Wise Owl (Ponkapoag) all spoke at the ceremony of gratitude for this acknowledgement.
“We are proud to hold this important ceremony and to give proper recognition of the land on which our college sits,” said MassBay President David Podell. “As our plaque reads, we cannot change the past. But what we can do and will do is to is honor the land, the ancestors, and the indigenous traditions as we at MassBay use this sacred land as a communal place to nurture learners to move forward and make a more inclusive world.”
Chief Caring Hands of the Natick Praying Indians summed up the Ceremony by saying, “I leave you with a truth: a people honor themselves when they honor its original people.”
Donations to the MassBay Indigenous People Scholarship Fund can be made by visiting www.massbay.edu/give, using the dropdown menu.
Swellesley editors are residents, but we need to clean up our act
While walking in the Hunnewell School area, we came across a different sort of sign affixed to the chain link safety fencing that encircles the construction site.
Dang, by mid-morning today we’d already used foul language, loitered, and did one other thing on this list, which we’ll leave to your imagination.
Dana Hall groundbreaking
Dana Hall is another step closer to a major renovation of its Upper School Classroom Building, the school’s largest academic space, which dates from 1956.
“Our students have been at the heart of all our decisions, discussions and desires,” Head of School Katherine Bradley said at the groundbreaking event. “We knew we needed a learning environment that would meet their needs and provide the space where they could explore their interests, engage with new challenges and realize their fullest potential.”
The project, designed by Dario Designs, is being funded by private philanthropy. Last fall, the Dana Hall announced a historic $15 million gift from the Manton Foundation, with $10 million designated to support the Classroom Building. The project’s general contractor, CM & B construction management, estimates a 15-18 month timeline for completion.