PLYMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Indigenous people gathered Thursday to mourn their ancestors and recognize the genocide of their people.
The National Day of Mourning has been an annual tradition among the Native American community since 1970. While most recognize Thanksgiving as a day gratefulness, those in the community use the day as a time to honor the struggles of their people.
United American Indians of New England (UAINE) held this year’s tradition at Cole’s Hill in Plymouth, right above Plymouth Rock in the town’s waterfront area. The day featured several prominent indigenous figures who spoke about the history and struggle of their people across the country and world.
“The spread of colonization, we know, resulted in armed conflict, murder, enslavement, rape and dispossession of our lands,” said Melissa Ferretti, chairperson of the Herring Pong Wampanoag Tribe. She called this struggle a direct assault on all native cultures.
“The history of Plymouth and the Massachusetts colonies is complex and painful,” she said. “What happened here on these lands impacted all native nations across New England and eventually spread far and wide across this country.”
The event also featured a march through Plymouth’s historic district and tributes to those “who have returned to the ancestors.”
WBZ’s Sheri Small (@SheriSmallNews) has more: