As we celebrate the arrival of European pilgrims on this soil 400 years ago, and the subsequent founding of a new nation on this continent 156 years later, I would like to take a moment to recognize the people who have always inhabited this continent, including the land known on this day as Plymouth, Massachusetts:

“We honor the Herring Pond Wampanoag People, as the original stewards of this place now known as Plymouth, and we honor all Wampanoag Tribes, along with the countless other Indigenous Peoples who traversed these lands for centuries before us. As we acknowledge many historical injustices, may we keep the First Peoples of this Land in our hearts and minds as we discuss issues affecting these valuable members of our community and their ancestral homelands today.”

Acknowledging the land, and the rich cultural, economic and environmental history of the Wampanoag people, who have stewarded it since time immemorial, is an act of truth, justice, solidarity, and equity – values that we as Americans hold dear. It reminds us of our shared history and allows us to think and talk about the future and the consequences of our decisions. It opens our hearts to more honest discussions of where we are now, and opens the door to a brighter, cleaner, greener and more peaceful future for us all. I hope that the Committee of Precinct Chairs adopts the land acknowledgement at its next meeting.

Katherine Harrelson

Harrelson is a member of the Community Land and Water Coalition.

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