Indigenous people from across the region and beyond mark day for remembrance

Indigenous people from across the region and beyond mark day for remembrance ...

Over a thousand people gathered Friday afternoon on the hill overlooking Plymouth harbour on the solemn day of remembrance for the indigenous people killed by European settlers and the constant injustices faced by their descendants today.

The event, a major part of the 52nd annual Day of Mourning event was an emotional event: people hugged friends that they hadn't seen for months and were mourning those who died from the COVID-19 virus.

The event was attended by the United States Indians of New England. It took place at Coles Hill just near Plymouth Rock and Mayflower II, the reproduction of a ship that arrived in 1620 on land now known as Massachusetts. The sky was light blue Thursday afternoon and the mild temperatures helped the organizers out.

After a program of speakers, the crowd walk down the hill towards Plymouth Rock (or Plymouth pebble that several speakers called it) and onto the town square, with banners and clapping the air with the scent of burnt sage.

Among the events speakers is Kisha James, member of the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe and granddaughter of Wamsutta Frank James, founder of the National Day of Mourning in 1970.

His comments were made in 1973 with a written copy of his speech on the settlers and discussed the treaty of the Wampanoag. That letter refuses to die.

James said, as long as he wasn't allowed to speak, he organized the first Day of Mourning. The attendees marched in Plymouth, buried Plymouth Rock, climbed the Mayflower II, and threw the English flag overboard.

In his speech, James tried to say that the British arrived on the south of Cape Cod, she said, not in Plymouth. They robbed Wampanoag's graves and stole winter meat and corn.

The settlers greeted indigenous people and saved them from starvation, she said. "What did we get for this kindness? Genocide, trespasses, slavery, starvation, and never-ending oppression."

These experts consider the role of European settlers in the deaths of millions of Indigenous people, particularly from the spread of diseases such as smallpox and measles, and many Native Americans. In addition, Settlers, along with many Native Americans, have also used in wars, massacres and other crimes, causing widespread discrimination among the entire West and South America.

The Indigenous population in the two continents decreased from 80 and 98 percent in the early 1600s to 2001, according to various sources of research.

James and other speakers discuss many ongoing issues faced by native peoples, including higher mortality rates and higher rates of poverty, suicide and infant mortality.

The leaders asked that President Biden and federal officials return land to Indigenous people, and also spoke against climate change, mass incarceration, detention, homelessness, and many other difficult issues that they often face.

James said: We are not vanishing, we are not conquered, we are as strong as ever.

Melissa Harding Ferretti, chairwoman of the Wampanoag tribe Herring Pond, recited A Prayer For Every Time in Wopanaaks native language.

The event drew indigenous people from all over the region and beyond. The buses left Brooklyn and Yankee Stadium at 6 and also came from Boston.

Deputy President of the International Forum of the People of the Pacific Union, says This is for the reason that this is for the purpose of celebrating genocide, said Vanessa Inarunikia, a member of the Boriken-Kiten tribe and an elder and founder of a Caribbean Indigenous Womens council, who drove to speak at the ceremony from the Bronx.

Olivia Maliszewski, 22, an Rappahannock Tribe member and a senior at Brown University who came with her parents and boyfriend.

As they were taking the walk out of the event, a white man said, "Along women had no indigenous people in New England, but were asked to decide whether genocide had happened."

She said, When I looked at him, I was like like I am living proof that there are native people in New England.

Maliszewski became emotional after the encounter, and when she went to the bathroom for a makeup fix, she carried a message across her face with lipstick and permanent marker.

Since then, the long-standing movement to return indigenous lands to Indigenous people has made a popular shorthand.

She told him that her grandfather, who is now 92, was the organizer of the first National Day of Mourning in 1970. She planned to visit him later that afternoon, and tell him what happened. He always told her that she had always held her head high.

She said that, I know, he's going to tell me that I did the right thing. I know he'll be doing the right thing, she said.

A man, whose ancestors were earliest settlers of the world, he said, and a Minuteman soldier also in the crowd, Keith Kovacs, 63. Kovacs decided to attend the event on a whim as he saw on Facebook that his friend would be happy to go. He knew about his ancestors and his history arose when he met with the ancestors.

Kovacs approached an Indigenous man performing a smudging ceremony, a ritual that involves burning sacred herbs to disorient the whole, apology it to his ancestors.

"I really felt very strong that I needed to say that I was sorry for the wrongs that have been done," he said.

Kovacs said that he didn't expect to become overwhelmed at the event, but said that he believes in the power of apologizing in all aspects of life. The men hugged and called each other brothers.

He said that we can't ignore the past. We must acknowledge it and do better.

Follow Laura Krantz on Twitter.

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