Native New England

This is a call to action. 

You don’t need to spend a dime. You don’t need to get on a plane. You don’t need to even leave your couch, the subway station, the doctor’s office or wherever in the world you are reading this from. 

This is a call to learn, to educate yourself, to reflect on your role in history. 

If you come from a background similar to myself then you are the grandchild of immigrants, the grandchild of displaced persons, the grandchild of once young children, taken by their parents to search for a better life in America. 

If you have a completely different background than me, good. Tell me about it. Tell someone about it. Share your perspective and your experience being a part of what is happening where you are today. 

Today, I am in Massachusetts. The state I was born and bred in. I am not patriotic, never have been and likely never will be. But, I am proud to be from New England. This is not without the understanding of what happened here before my family came to call this place home.

Here lives a hidden history of genocide.

Deer Island, Massachusetts : Now a waste water treatment plant outside of Boston, in the winter of 1676, as many as 500 Massachusetts tribal members died of exposure and starvation after being forced from their land by the puritans. 

Deer Island, Massachusetts : Now a waste water treatment plant outside of Boston, in the winter of 1676, as many as 500 Massachusetts tribal members died of exposure and starvation after being forced from their land by the puritans. 

For the next five days, my brother and I will travel through New England, visiting places and spaces where we can learn more about the culture of the Native Americans. It is during this week, and this week only, that we nationally recognize that our identity is interwoven with those who lived here before us. 

As indigenous tribes and their allies continue protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, it is imperative that we ask ourselves, ‘how did we get here?’ Native American culture dominated this continent for thousands of years before the Puritans immigrated to these lands from Europe. The tribes that lived here treasured Mother Earth and had an unwavering respect for the environment. 

Respect Mother Earth because if it wasn’t for Mother Earth, we would have no home to build our little place where we could be comfortable.
— Margaret Yankton, Oglala Sioux Reservation / Generation Red Nation

If you can go to Standing Rock, go! Go stand tall with those protecting the water we need to survive. Learn this history, recognize this history and do what you can to respect those still living this history.

If you can, donate to the tribes. And, if you can’t donate (and if you can), please just learn. 

This isn’t about changing history; that is a wasted effort. This is about acknowledging and accepting out past so we can respect our future.


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