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NU Celebrates Indigenous People’s Day with Land Acknowledgment

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AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
Professor Ellen Cushman led us in opening remarks

As multiple formal institutions reiterated their support for the term ‘Columbus Day,’ NU continues to move forward by celebrating Indigenous People’s Day instead. The virtual event featured opening remarks from English Department Professor and associate dean of academic affairs, diversity and inclusion in CSSH, Ellen Cushman. As we move towards Thanksgiving NU’s position on the Mashpee Wampanoag and the Aquinnah Wampanoa lands remains an important reminder of our nation’s history. Cushman was joined by Professors Kylie Bemis and Mary Jo Ondrechen, who led the community in a discussion on the meaning of their indigenous identities in the 21st century. Participants were given the opportunity to connect over their shared victories and envision a future where more schools took these progressive and necessary actions like Northeastern.

We mark this day as an initial step in learning to unlearn the history of America’s so-called ‘discovery.’ And we mark this day as an initial step we in the Northeastern community can together take on the path toward restorative justice for the many peoples impacted by the imperial, enslaving, and settler colonial past

Ellen Cushman, Professor of English

As Thanksgiving and the holidays grow closer, we invite you to continue to this discussion with your family, friends, and fellow NU community members. These discussions are vital in inducing change not only in NU, but within our own networks both in and outside of Boston. Events like the Women’s History Month Symposium and the Racial Literacy Pop-Up series are important tools that we can use to guide these new discussions and we look forward to the ways our students utilize this new information.

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