The mission of the Indigenous Justice Working Group (IJWG) is to explore First Parish’s relationship to the grave injustices experienced by the Indigenous people of Massachusetts, from being displaced from their homes centuries ago to the vast health and social inequities today.

Members of this Social Justice Working Group will seek truth and raise ideas about how we at First Parish might learn about, acknowledge, and confront these injustices in order to heal and move forward together toward a more just future.

 


Land Acknowledgement 

This year First Parish will be engaged in a process of developing a land acknowledgement, a statement that recognizes that the land on which our congregation is located was stolen from the Indigenous people who first inhabited this area and our commitment to work for reparations, right relationship and justice in regard to Indigenous people. This is part of an ongoing process informed by the work of the Indigenous Justice Working Group, IJWG. Read Full Article Here.


Get Involved!
The IJWG offers events throughout the year for those interested in learning more about the history of First Parish in relation to the Indigenous people of what is now called Arlington, the experiences of Indigenous people in North America, and the efforts to address ongoing injustice and inequities. If you are interested in engaging more deeply in this work, helping to guide our efforts, and developing programs and stronger relationships on behalf of First Parish, please email IJWG@firstparish.info.

IJWG meets virtually on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 8PM.


This Month’s Feature

Established in 1969, NAICOB is the oldest urban American Indian center in Massachusetts. Its mission is to empower Boston’s Native American community and to improve the quality of life of Indigenous peoples.

View the online series organized by United American Indians of New England (UAINE) and the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB).

Lakota Youthstay is currently seeking host families for their summer program. To learn more or to sign up, please click here.

For more information on the Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda, visit: www.maindigenousagenda.org

Additional Resources

One thing the members of the Indigenous Justice Working Group have noticed is that once we develop a lens for focusing on this work, it is everywhere: in the daily news, on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, in local events listings and Netflix offerings. We are slowly developing an already-huge spreadsheet of resources and are struggling to find time to absorb and engage with all the wonderful material available to us. Here we offer a few recommendations.

21-Day Racial Equity Indigenous Challenge: This project offers resources for reading, watching, listening, and otherwise engaging with the topic of Indigenous Justice. Design your own course of study from a menu of options, or see where the path leads you.

Coloring Pages by Hawlii Pichette, a Mushkego Cree urban mixed-blood artist and illustrator. Fun for kids, great for meditative practice focusing on the natural world and themes of Indigenous culture.

Indian Country Today offers news of Indigenous people throughout the Americas. Check out the rich offerings available on the website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter to add Indigenous news to your daily feed.

The Red Nation: 10-Point Program, a demand for an end to violence against Native Peoples, from a coalition of Native and non-Native activists, educators, students, and community organizers.

Massachusetts Indigenous History Resources: Links to a variety of resources about Indigenous communities in Massachusetts, as well as documentaries, 17th century accounts, books, and more!

If you have resources to recommend to us, please email ijwg@firstparish.info.


Grounded in Our Faith

In 2020 the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, our national body, passed an Action of Immediate Witness calling on all Unitarian Universalist congregations to Address 400 Years of White Supremacist Colonialism. The efforts of the First Parish Indigenous Justice Working Group are grounded in this action and in the principles that we affirm.