A message from the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda:
One of our MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda bills (S.245/H.477) calls for Massachusetts to prohibit the use of Native American mascots in Massachusetts public schools. About 25 schools in the Commonwealth currently use such mascots. Academic research reveals that Native American mascots create a hostile climate for Native Americans and increase bias among non-Native people, which is clearly not educationally sound. In particular, for Native American students, exposure to these mascots decreases self-esteem and capacity to imagine future achievement, and increases negative feelings. You can find these research findings here.
We need this bill now. Our bill to prohibit Native Mascots will be heard before the Education Committee this coming Monday, November 13 at 1pm in Room A2 at the Statehouse. In the legislative process, the committee hearing is a critical step. That’s why we need you – so that the legislators will understand there is broad support for a ban on Native mascots. Here are things you can do to help us show the committee that we will not be turned away from justice:
- Save the date for this Monday, Nov. 13th at 1 pm, RSVP to us to come to the hearing in person and help us pack the room. Wear purple to show your support! Share our facebook event to spread the word: https://fb.me/e/grQuIibIj
- Testify! To register to testify in-person or virtually, please provide contact information on the Mass Legislature form linked here. The deadline to sign up for virtual testimony is 3:00pm this Thurs, Nov. 9. Those wishing to testify in person may register in person at the time of the hearing but are encouraged to register ahead using this form. (***see bottom of the email for details)
- Write the committee and submit written testimony in support! There are two options.
- Take 10 minutes to write a personal email testimony to the committee. Template here. Fact sheet here.
- OR Take 2 minutes to send email testimony to the committee. You can use the language that is provided, or modify it if you wish.
Thank you for taking action and for sharing with your friends and community. We appreciate your support of the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda bills and can’t do this without you!
Mahtowin Munro (United American Indians of New England and IndigenousPeoplesDayMA.org
Jean-Luc Pierite (Board chair, North American Indian Center of Boston)
On behalf of the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda
***The Chair will take all in-person testimony in bill order first, will break for 10 minutes, and then take virtual testimony in bill order. The current bill order is listed on the hearing website.