Theatre@First rehearses and performs on the ancestral land of the Pawtucket and Massachusett tribal nations. We honor these communities and the elders of these nations—past, present, and future—and recognize the enduring relationships between Indigenous and Native communities and their traditional territories. We extend our respect to citizens of these nations who live here now, to their ancestors who have lived here for over five hundred generations, and to all Indigenous people.
We affirm that this acknowledgement is insufficient. It does not undo the harm that has been done through violence and injustice over the past 400 years and that continues today. We recognize that land acknowledgements are only a small yet important step towards ensuring a culture of respect, truth, and accountability in our community.
We commit ourselves to working toward a greater understanding of our relationship with this land and its people, and to sharing this growing understanding with the Theatre@First participants and audience.
"Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth [...] Acknowledgment is a critical public intervention, a necessary step toward honoring Native communities and enacting the much larger project of decolonization and reconciliation. Join us in adopting, calling for, and spreading this practice."
U.S. Department of Arts & Culture
"Non-Indigenous people should do [tribal land acknowledgments] in an effort to acknowledge the attempted genocide of Indigenous people, take ownership of being visitors on someone else's territory, potentially introduce current events, and most importantly, to unerase the Indigenous voices, experiences, examples, history, and contributions, while dismantling oppression and stereotypes."
We are grateful for the work that many have done to lead the way in this effort, particularly to Lorén Spears and her Guide for Land Acknowledgments. This acknowledgment is only a starting point. The resources below represent some of the directions we are following on this journey.
Brief History of Somerville by Frederick J. Lund of the Planning Dept.
United American Indians of New England
Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness
Massachusetts Indigenous History Resources
Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Native American Theatre: A concise history
Indigenous Theater and Performance of North America
North American Indian Center of Boston
To add resources to this list, or to offer other feedback about this page, please email us!