Tuesday, July 21st and July 28th at 6pm
During this virtual panel series, Indigenous leaders, artists and allies will speak about their work in the public realm, and address how public symbols perpetuating colonial myths affect the lives of Indigenous people in the city, contributing to the public health emergency of racism. It will be live streamed through the Mayor's Office of Arts & Culture Boston Facebook page.
Facilitated by Erin Genia, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, Artist-in-Residence, City of Boston
Part 1, July 21st at 6pm EDT
Mahtowin Munro, Lakota, Co-leader of United American Indians of New England and lead organizer for IndigenousPeoplesDayMA.org will speak about the “Dismantle Now! BIPOC Solidarity Against White Supremacy: March + Art Action” that took place at Faneuil Hall Square on July 8th, as well as her work calling for the removal of the Columbus statue and other colonial monuments and symbols in Boston.
Lilly E. Manycolors, mixed Choctaw, interdisciplinary artist and scholar will discuss her work “MISKODOODISWAN Red Sweat Lodge: Witnessing/Healing of Missing and Murdered Women,” now installed on Boston Common.
Jean-Luc Pierite, Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, President of the Board, North American Indian Center of Boston, will talk about his work advocating for the protection of sacred sites around Boston.
Part 2, July 28th at 6pm EDT
Elizabeth Solomon, member of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, has spent over 30 working in public health in both academic and community-based settings. Currently the Director of Administration in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Pierre Belanger, Ghazal Jafari and Pablo Escudero of OPEN SYSTEMS. Following a 3-year process of investigation, they will shed light on the corruption of public process, the weaponization of urban space, and racialization of the public sphere in Boston with the Christopher Columbus monument on the waterfront in 1979, in the context of the rise of a 500-year old legacy of veneration of Columbus since 1492. Pierre Bélanger is a settler designer, originally from Montréal and Ottawa, now in Boston, traditional lands of the Massachusett Peoples, territory of the Wampanoag and Nipmuc Nations. Ghazal Jafari is a designer of Persian and Azeri descent and Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, traditional lands of the Monacan Nation. Pablo Escudero is an Ecuadorian farmer, architect, and Fulbright Scholar in the US from Quito, on traditional territories of Kechwa Peoples. Together, they are part of the co-founders of OPEN SYSTEMS, a design-based, non-profit research organization of builders, educators, and farmers, dedicated to opening systemic knowledge related to complex, socioecological challenges and geopolitical conflicts—at the intersection of land, water, environmental justice, spatial inequality, climate change, and community self-determination.
Heather Leavell (she/her/hers) is a second generation Italian American (on her mother's side) and co-founder of Italian Americans for Indigenous Peoples Day, a Massachusetts-based group supporting Indigenous-led efforts to rename Columbus Day across the state. She also works as an accomplice to help raise awareness of Indigenous legislative priorities, including bills that would abolish Native mascots in public schools and change the state flag. Leavell is a museum director and curator in the Boston area.
Part 3, August 4th at 6pm EDT
Kristen Wyman's fight for the right to land, food, medicine and human dignity is completely tied to her identity and responsibility as a Nipmuc woman, mother, and daughter. She is co-Founder of Eastern Woodlands Rematriation (EWR), a network of Indigenous peoples restoring the foundation of sustainable food systems. Her work is deeply personal and motivated by the important roles of womxn as landholders, farmers, culture bearers, artisans and diplomats. As the Global Movements Program Manager with WhyHunger Kristen supports social movement processes at the global level, in their path towards food sovereignty and liberation. She focuses mostly on strategic plans, communication strategies, and grassroots methodologies for building mass power.