Just a reminder to please take a moment to write to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
It is unthinkable that our legislature is proceeding with this bill without the involvement of ANY of the key Indigenous tribes or local Indigenous historic preservation organizations that have lead the way on Indigenous cultural and historic preservation over the last 25 years.
There is a small window RIGHT NOW where they are taking feedback from the public.
Written testimony may be submitted to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture by email to: JointCommittee.Environment@malegislature.gov
Once the politicians appoint their own people to this commission, which is clearly the plan to change the laws as they wish, it’s game over.
As proposed, the bill empowers legislators to appoint every single committee seat themselves. Indigenous residents of Massachusetts = zero.
The bill has to go back to the drawing board, from the start, with the involvement of Indigenous stakeholders.
From my conversations, interest was indicated for these kinds of committee members to be designated by Indigenous stakeholders instead of direct political appointees:
- expert on Indigenous rights
- expert on international human rights law
- expert on historic preservation
- expert on protected land law enforcement
- expert on archaeological preservation
- expert on Indigenous ethnography of the Northeast United States
- expert on legislative law
- expert in restorative justice
- expert of race interaction ethics
The Federal Infrastructure bill means lots of digging in the ground coming up and the powers in Boston – the same folks who appoint the Massachusetts Historical Commission – are trying to change the laws so that they never have to disclose when an Indigenous site is discovered, among other political tricks.
These are the members of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture if you wish to write them individually.
If you care about preserving the history of Massachusetts before Colonial rule, something that many are trying to erase permanently, including our own corrupt Massachusetts Historical Commission, please take action now.