Watertown Group Discussing Erasing of Indigenous History in Town, Columbus Monument

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The following announcement was provided by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment:

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment will hold our September Monthly Meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, September 16, at 6:45 PM. All are welcome. Our topic this month is: Engaging Our Past For A More Truth-filled Future.

Please join us for a very special monthly meeting featuring the Pigsqusset Decolonization Team, a group of Watertown citizens who organized in early 2020 to engage the public in a conversation about the erasure of the Indigenous history of the place we call home. Their initial goal is to create a conversation about the future of the monument to Christopher Columbus in the Town Square. Most of us do not know that 80 years ago members of the Town Council gave the delta a name and authorized placement of a
stone monument there to honor Columbus. The Pigsqusset Decolonization Team believes it is time for those of us who live here now to engage this name and the monument, and collectively decide their future. 
Their program includes a series of slides and a facilitated discussion that focus on the accountability for the erasure of the Indigenous of Watertown and a decision about next steps in relation to the Town Council. It will conclude with two important questions – Why does this matter? What can we do together?
Please join us early, starting at 6:45, to say hello to each other and chat before the official start of the meeting at 7:00. For more information and for the link to join the meeting, visit the website of Watertown
Citizens: watertowncitizens.org.

3 thoughts on “Watertown Group Discussing Erasing of Indigenous History in Town, Columbus Monument

  1. There is a small stone monument near the front of the Watertown Library. I think it mentions Washington.

    He owned slaves so it should be removed even though his slaves were freed by his will after his death. Why did he not free them before his death?

    The high school football team’s name is the Red Raiders. Please remove the name Raiders as that word connotes people who “raid”, which is illegal. For example, pirates are raiders. That would leave the name Red. Turn it into Reds for the name of the team.
    Reds has no bad connotation though I suppose Red nowadays connotes Republicans, or going back in time it connotes Communists.

    The name Watertown is an English name. It should be named either Pequossette or Nonantum because those were the Native American tribes who lived here and established a thriving village.

    The section of the Charles River that flows along Watertown should be renamed what
    Native Americans named it which is Quinobequin, meaning “meandering” (according to Wikipedia).

    “Charles”, after all, was the name of the King of the British Isles and Ireland. He was an imperialist and was the cause of a lot of this.

    All streets should be named after Native Americans or things of importance to them.

    Historians and Native Americans must be consulted. If not enough names can be found, they can be named 1st Street, 2nd Street, 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue, and so forth.

    Same with school names. Or maybe Public School A, Public School B, and so forth. A language option should be introduced in the public schools such that Native American languages are taught.

    There are so many opportunities to rename things in Watertown one hardly knows where to begin.

    I do think too that reparations should rightly be made by Watertown residents to Native Americans since these were the latters’ lands. The best thing to do would be to turn over to them all property that was unjustly taken from them by Europeans settlers.

    The town charter should be revised to give Native Americans reserved positions on the town council and in town government.

    It’s a start. With good will, much can be accomplished.

  2. Let us raise a monument to the achievements of the indigenous people who lived here before the Europeans settled, perhaps along the river.
    Let us honor the founders of the culture we live in now, like Washington and other idealists who threw off the yoke of English rule. Honor them for what they built that we now enjoy.
    Let us honor each other, without division.
    Toppling statues doesn’t accomplish anything. It doesn’t create anything. It merely divides the community more and satisfies a fleeting desire to smash something out of frustration.
    Spend your time instead on toppling those in power who are destroying this nation now.
    Spend your time on building meaningful monuments.
    You cannot erase history. You can only learn from it if you are wise.

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