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Native American History Resources for the Merrimack Valley and Beyond

poster with drawing of feathers indigenous peoples day
Province of British Columbia, adapted from artwork by Andy Everson   CC BY NC ND

05/12/2021 

By Joseph Hartman, Provost University of Massachusetts Lowell
 
"I’m pleased to share with you an addition to the university calendar. On the second Monday in October, UMass Lowell will recognize Indigenous People’s Day and Columbus Day." 

 

"This addition acknowledges and seeks to reverse the long-standing misrepresentation of the original inhabitants of the Merrimack Valley as well as indigenous people across the country. 
 
In an effort to jump start community awareness and knowledge of Native American tribes originally settled on the land now the city of Lowell, Prof. Robert Forrant is leading an effort organized by UMass Lowell students and faculty to develop and locate historical markers across UMass Lowell property identifying the geography, history and culture of early local inhabitants. 
 
In addition, a committee has been established to develop educational and artistic programming related to Indigenous Peoples’ Day that will occur around Oct. 12. Its members are: 

     ❖ Daniel Arroyo-Rodriguez, associate professor, World Languages and Cultures 
     ❖ Bob Forrant, Distinguished University Professor, History 
     ❖ Larissa Gaias, assistant professor, Psychology
     ❖ Maia Gil'Adí, assistant professor, English
     ❖ Ingrid Hess, associate professor, Art and Design
     ❖ Elissa Johnson-Green, assistant professor, Music
     ❖ Christoph Strobel, professor, History
     ❖ 
Phitsamay Uy, associate professor, Education 

The effort to further elevate misrepresented groups and more accurately understand our own history, with all its triumphs, controversy and disagreements, is designed to serve as a learning opportunity. And there is no better place to do so than at a university that has dedicated itself to inclusion and the growing understanding of our world, our past and each other. 
 
UMass Lowell will continue to recognize Columbus Day, a federally designated holiday, as we also recognize the importance of celebrating the strengths of indigenous communities within Massachusetts and nationally."