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Berkshires community Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 11 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Maples turn deep gold along the Housatonic River.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Great Barrington will celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday of October and in the weeks surrounding it.

Alliance for a Better Future, a local grass-roots organization, Bridge, the Stockbridge Munsee community of the Mohican Nation and many local partners gather together to hold four events for Indigenous People’s Day with Native leaders, to highlight community, education, ceremony and integration.

The aim is to acknowledge and heal the wounds of our past, honor the Native and Indigenous ethic of respect and care for the natural world, and integrate indigenous values into our response to climate change, according to Lev Natan, organizer and founding director of the Alliance.

“The commemoration is inspired, in part, by Randy Weinstein and Gwendolyn VanSant of the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee, who, in 2019, asked the Town of Great Barrington to join a growing movement of towns, cities and states around the country who are recognizing the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” Natan said.

Sept. 23 — Equinox Fire Ceremony to Prepare for Indigenous People’s Day at April Hill (Greenagers), Egremont, 6 to 8 p.m.

Nature-based cultures tend to celebrate the change of seasons. Here in the Northeast, the transition from summer to autumn is magnificent, and the community will honor this moment together, build community, and bring our hearts and minds together, as one, to prepare for Indigenous People’s Day, with a potluck connection by the fire.

Oct. 1 — Listening Deeply Indigenous Voice Panel Discussion at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire, 6 to 8 p.m.

Bonney Hartley, Historic Preservation Manager for the Stockbridge Munsee community of the Mohican Nation, Shawn Stevens, ceremonialist for the Stockbridge Munsee community of the Mohican Nation, Penobscot elder and language master Carol Dana, and Navajo Medicine Man Jake Singer, Sundance Chief and leader for Native American veterans, will talk about the event.

What’s the purpose of Indigenous People’s Day? Where did it come from? Why does it matter?
In this workshop, we will explore the history of this event, what it represents and symbolizes, and how it is an essential part of the movement for Climate Leadership. Most importantly, we will connect the dots between honoring Indigenous Values and strengthening our community’s resilience to climate change.

Oct. 11 — Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebration with drumming and traditional songs, speeches, and a procession leading to a ceremonial blessing of the Housatonic River will mark the local observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Day Gazebo Park in Great Barrington from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Great Barrington.

The whole community come together, and join Native community leaders from around the Northeast, and the whole country, to observe this important holiday.

Oct. 17 — Moving Forward Together Integration and Next Steps Workshop Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The whole group will take time to integrate this powerful experience and clarify next steps together – as a community. What new insights did you have because you participated in these events? What new sense of community do you now feel? What commitments are emerging, in regards to next steps for the year to come? How can we support each other to deepen our efforts around climate resilience in our communities? This is where the rubber hits the road.

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Event Details


October 11
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Event Location

Great Barrington gazebo
334 Main St.
Great Barrington, MA

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