Many of those who don’t have to work today are just glad to have the time off. But for the more than 37,000 Native Americans living in Massachusetts, according to the state Commission on Indian Affairs, the holiday means a lot more.
Instead of Columbus Day, some municipalities in the state are recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Mahtowin Munro of Watertown, of the Lakota Nation, has led the effort to inform the public about what historians call “the Columbus Controversy.”
“The actions of Columbus and his men decimated the original peoples of the Caribbean and paved the way for the genocide and enslavement of millions more indigenous peoples throughout the Americas in the coming centuries,” Munro said.
Brookline, Cambridge, and Somerville have changed the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day. Tufts University in Medford and Somerville will be hosting events, starting with a celebration today from 4 to 7 p.m. on the Green outside Packard Hall. For more activities during the week, visit Indigenous People’s Day at Tufts on Facebook.
Cambridge’s celebration will be held today from 3 to 6 p.m. in front of Harvard University’s Matthews Hall, 1 Church St. It will include Native American performers, speakers, and food.
Over a century after Columbus reached the New World, the first Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth in 1620. Those interested in digging into history with hands-on archeology can head to the 1677 Harlow Old Fort House, 119 Sandwich St., on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Visit plymouthantiquariansociety.org.
Up north, it’s all about the food — and the beer. The Ipswich Chowderfest will include tastings at the Downtown River Walk Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the event (free for children under 10) or can be purchased at eventbrite.com. The fund-raiser supports the Ipswich Lions Club’s campaign to provide eyeglasses to people in need.
Try various craft beers at the Seaside Brewfest at Salisbury Beach on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. The event raises money for the town’s Parks and Recreation Commission and PTA. Tickets are $25 at tickets.beerfests.com/event/seaside-brewfest or $30 (cash only) if you just show up.
Marcia Dick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.