FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Attention: News Editor, Assignment Editor
Contact: Mahtowin Munro via firstname.lastname@example.org
51st NATIONAL DAY OF MOURNING TO BE OBSERVED
IN PLYMOUTH, MA
AT 12 NOON ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2020
United American Indians of New England (UAINE) has called for the 51st National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at 12 o'clock noon. Participants will gather by the statue of Massasoit on Cole's Hill above the Plymouth waterfront. This year will be the 50th anniversary of National Day of Mourning.
Since 1970, hundreds of Native people and their non-Native supporters have gathered annually in Plymouth on US Thanksgiving Day. This year, the in-person protest will be reduced in size to ensure safety during COVID. The event will be livestreamed and there will also be substantial additional online content.
According to UAINE youth coordinator Kisha James, who is Aquinnah Wampanoag and Lakota, and the granddaughter of the founder of National Day of Mourning, “We Native people have no reason to celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims. We want to educate people so that they understand the stories we all learned in school about the first Thanksgiving are nothing but lies. Wampanoag and other Indigenous people have certainly not lived happily ever after since the arrival of the Pilgrims. To us, Thanksgiving is a Day of Mourning, because we remember the millions of our ancestors who were murdered by uninvited European colonists such as the Pilgrims. Today, we and many Indigenous people around the country say, “No Thanks, No Giving."
James explained that much of the day will also be devoted to speaking about contemporary issues. “Four hundred years after the arrival of the Mayflower, Indigenous people are still denied the respect and lands that are theirs by right. The Mashpee Wampanoag continue to have their lands threatened even in the final days of the Trump administration. Change is long past due. We are very much still facing the issues that the elders talked about back in 1970 at the first National Day of Mourning.”
UAINE co-leader Mahtowin Munro spoke about some of the current issues. “Participants in National Day of Mourning this year will speak about many things. We will mourn and honor the thousands of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls & Two-Spirits (#MMIWG2S), and mourn for those impacted by COVID-19, which has had a particularly devastating impact on Native communities. From Bolivia to Ontario, from Boston to the Amazon, Indigenous peoples are defending their sovereignty and insisting that nothing should happen on their lands without their freely given consent. Indigenous solidarity and resistance are international.”
She continued, “Here in Massachusetts, the state legislature still has not taken beginning steps by voting to redesign the racist state flag and seal, ban the use of Native American mascots, protect sacred Native American heritage, or celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day instead of Columbus Day. We call on them to do the right thing before this legislative session ends in December.” (More info on legislation at MAIndigenousAgenda.org)