Lights on the Delta Shining in Honor of Indigenous Peoples Day

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Charlie Breitrose The new lights on the trees on the Watertown Square Delta can change colors and display patterns. This picture shows what the trees looked like in December 2019.

The following announcement was provided by Jennifer Wolfrum on behalf of members of the Pigsgusset Initiative:

As part of Watertown Celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day, the Watertown City Council proclaimed Monday, October 10th as Indigenous Peoples Day. Aligned with this Proclamation, Councilor Nicole Gardner asked the Department of Public Works to make the colors of the lights on the Delta to reflect a central aspect of Indigenous culture.

The red, yellow, white and black lights represent the colors of the medicine wheel, which is important to Indigenous People and their spiritual worldview. The four colors represent the directions along with other important aspects of the world. That they are contained within a circle symbolizes the circle of life, perfection and infinity. The yellow represents the East, air and the rising sun. White represents the South and fire. Black signifies West, water, the end of day and the setting sun. Red represents North, Earth, cold and the harsh winds of winter. Some Nations and Tribes use blue, purple or green instead of black.

This was the first year that Watertown celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day. Members of the Pigsgusset Initiative, a working group of Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, partnered with the New Repertory Theatre and First Parish Watertown to provide a free community event on October 10th. Close to 200 people came out to hear keynote speaker Elizabeth Solomon of the Massachusett Tribe, listen to the music of Geri Barney, view the New Rep’s production of Listen to Sipu, and browse the offerings of Indigenous vendors and the Belmont Bookstore’s selection of books by and about Indigenous people. The event was funded by a generous grant from the Watertown Community Foundation and private donations.

In conjunction with the event and celebration, Mishy Lesser, founder of Upstander Project and the Pigsgusset Initiative reached out to acclaimed Wampanoag Chef Sherry Pocknett to partner and arranged for her to meet with Chef Ivan Conill of Branch Line restaurant to offer Indigenous cuisine for 10 days leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day.

2 thoughts on “Lights on the Delta Shining in Honor of Indigenous Peoples Day

  1. I was not able to attend the October 10 event, but I did go, with several friends, to Branch Line to sample the Indigenous cuisine… and it was delicious. I am sorry that Branch Line didn’t keep it on their menu. Thank you, Wampanoag Chef Sherry Pocknett and Branch Line Chef Ivan Conill for sharing this with us!

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