There’s a MA Joint Education Committee hearing coming up on September 13 at 11 AM for an important bill from our MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda: H.651/S.382 An Act relative to celebrating and teaching Native American culture and history. The time is long overdue for Massachusetts public schools to educate all students about Native American cultures, histories and current issues, and we need your help to get this passed!
- Go to the Action Network link and you will find the text of the bill, an automated letter that you can send to legislators, and also information about how to send your own letter if you do not want to use the automated Action Network letter. Please plan to modify the Action Network letter to tell the legislators why this bill is so important to you — personalization helps a lot! Sending this will only take a few minutes of your time.
- If you want to listen to the hearing on September 13 or sign up to testify, all the information is at the MA Legislature website here. Note that there are a lot of bills that will come before the committee that day, and we do not know an exact time when testimony for our bill will be heard.
Bill Title: An Act Relative to Celebrating and Teaching Native American Culture & History
This bill addresses the lack of Indigenous curriculum in Massachusetts public schools. Schoolchildren rarely learn about the Native American history of the region nor about the contemporary Indigenous peoples who live here, including the Massachusett, Nipmuc, Aquinnah Wampanoag, Mashpee Wampanoag, and other bands of the Wampanoag as well as Native people in Massachusetts enrolled in tribal nations throughout the US and Canada. The goal is to develop a curriculum by working with tribal nations in-state and ensure that all children in the schools attain cultural competency in understanding Native history, cultures and current issues.