NEWTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — For the second year in a row, Newton residents gathered on Albemarle Field to celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day, something city councilors voted to replace Christopher Columbus Day in 2020.
Hiawatha Brown of the Narragansett Indian Tribe tells WBZ's Mike Macklin he's seen progress towards recognition of the holiday across Massachusetts.
"We are progressive, I see a great change in peoples' attitudes, a great change in peoples' understanding of our significance as we are indigenous people of this continent," Brown said. Efforts to win state legislature support for Indigenous Peoples' Day failed on Beacon Hill this year, despite being a nationally recognized holiday. Proponents say they will refile their proposals in January and try again.
At Newton's Ceremonial Celebration event, Indigenous Peoples from all sorts of backgrounds practiced traditional song and dance with vendors selling goods nearby.
"We have very diverse members— eight members on our Newton Indigenous Peoples Committee, we represent five different nations of our Indigenous Peoples and local non-Indigenous People sit on our committee, so we feel we are very broad with our acceptance," Brown said.
WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.