Wellesley Select Board Proclaims Indigenous Peoples Day

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Tonight the Select Board voted 4 to 1 in favor of proclaiming the second Monday of October henceforth be commemorated as Indigenous Peoples Day and cease to recognize Columbus Day in Wellesley!!

This move to officially honor Indigenous Peoples Day in Wellesley follows a multi-year advocacy process and we’d like to share a big THANK YOU to all who have contributed.

On November 8th, 2018, a seventh grader at Wellesley Middle School wrote a letter to the Wellesley Townsman calling for Wellesley to cease to celebrate Columbus Day and begin honoring Indigenous Peoples Day. We would like to thank this student for their courageous act that sparked a movement for change in our community.

Thank you to the Select Board for their guidance on this change over the past two and half years and for holding a discussion on this topic in November 2019. Thank you to the Advisory Committee who thoughtfully listened to arguments to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and voted to recommend this change.

Thank you to the 130 Town Meeting Members who voted in favor of Article 42 for Indigenous Peoples Day on June 23, 2020. Thank you to the 160 Wellesley community members who endorsed a YES vote on Question 1. And a huge thank you to the 2,255 Wellesley voters who delivered the deciding votes in favor of Question 1!

Replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day on all town calendars will reinforce the Select Board’s recent Statement on Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias, will begin to remedy the harmful effects of racist policies, and will begin to acknowledge the contributions and ongoing presence of Indigenous People in our community.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with all of you to educate ourselves and our community about Indigenous Peoples history and culture, to make connections with the Indigenous Peoples of this area and beyond, to center Indigenous voices, and to offer support for Indigenous-led initiatives.