Mayor Bernard invites the North Adams community to join in declaring Indigenous Peoples Day

Mayor Tom Bernard is proclaiming Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of North Adams. He is grateful for the leadership and partnership of Councilors Benjamin Lamb and School Committee Member Tara Jacobs in preparing this statement. The Mayor invites North Adams based organizations and residents to join him and other elected and local officials in endorsing this proclamation. Here's the text of the proclamation:


October 8, 2021

WHEREAS, the City of North Adams occupies land historically held by the Stockbridge - Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, and holds significance to the heritage of many Indigenous Peoples for centuries before the incorporation of the City; and

WHEREAS, the City of North Adams recognizes that the Indigenous Peoples of the lands that would later become known as the Americas are native to these lands; and

WHEREAS, the City of North Adams recognizes, values, and celebrates the many contributions made to our community, our Commonwealth and our country by Indigenous Peoples now and throughout our history; and

WHEREAS, the City of North Adams recognizes and acknowledges the ongoing trauma and historical harms, acts of genocide, and violations of human rights of Indigenous People caused by European colonization; and

WHEREAS, the City wishes to honor our local Stockbridge - Munsee Community heritage and our national Indigenous roots, history, and contributions; and

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a bill providing for the creation of a special commission to make recommendations for a new or revised state seal and motto, thereby reflecting growing momentum within both state and local government to redress the harm to Indigenous peoples caused by the promotion of false histories; and

WHEREAS, bills currently before the Massachusetts Legislature would establish and recognize Indigenous Peoples Day as a state holiday; and

WHEREAS, Massachusetts municipalities including Amherst, Brookline, Cambridge, Marblehead, Melrose, Newton, Northampton, Salem, and Somerville; the states of Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin; the District of Columbia; and cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Denver, Colorado, Columbus, Ohio, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and many more observe Indigenous Peoples Day to promote Indigenous cultures and commemorate the history of Indigenous Peoples; and

WHEREAS, the City of North Adams is one community open to all; that celebrates and welcomes everyone; that is dedicated to promoting equity and justice in our City; and that is committed to policies and practices that seek to end systemic racism and discrimination;


1. The City of North Adams recognizes the position of Indigenous Peoples as native to these lands and that North Adams is indigenous land; and

2. The City of North Adams celebrates and honors the foundational contributions of indigenous peoples to the history of our city, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and our country; and

3. The second Monday of October henceforth be commemorated in North Adams as Indigenous Peoples Day; and

4. The City of North Adams and the North Adams Public Schools commit to engaging the community in dialogue and to reviewing and enacting policy and documentation changes in order and formalize the commitments of this Proclamation; and

5. The City of North Adams encourages our public schools to observe Indigenous Peoples Day with appropriate instruction to celebrate the culture, diversity, and history of Indigenous Peoples.

So far the following North Adams officials have endorsed this proclamation:

Mayor Tom Bernard

City Council President Lisa Blackmer
City Council Vice President Benjamin Lamb
City Councilor Keith Bona
City Councilor Jessica Sweeney
City Councilor Pete Oleskiewicz
City Councilor Wayne Wilkinson

School Committee Chair Tom Bernard
School Committee Vice Chair Heather Boulger
School Committee Member Ian Bergeron
School Committee Member Karen Bond
School Committee Member Emily Daunis
School Committee Member James Holmes
School Committee Member Tara Jacobs

Superintendent Dr. Barbara Malkas

State Senator Adam Hinds

To sign on as an individual or on behalf of an organization, faith community, board, or commission, please fill out this form. The deadline is Friday, October 15 at 4:00 p.m. at which point the proclamation, listing all endorsements and signatories, will be printed.