Wellesley’s Board of Selectmen will hold a public forum Monday, April 29, on a proposal by the community organization World of Wellesley to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, according to a statement released by the selectmen’s office.
Indigenous Peoples Day is intended to recognize and celebrate the heritage of indigenous people, as well as the history and contributions of Native nations and tribes in the region, according to a flyer linked to the selectmen’s statement.
The proposal would also eliminate the holiday recognizing Christopher Columbus, whose “policies, including forced slave labor, starvation and slaughter, resulted in the near-complete genocide of the Indigenous peoples of Hispaniola, Haiti and other places,” according to the flyer.
The forum will be held at 7 p.m. in the Juliani Room at Wellesley Town Hall, located at 525 Washington St.
Representatives from World of Wellesley will give an overview about the Indigenous Peoples Day proposal.
“Following the WOW presentation, members of the community will be invited to share their thoughts on this request and raise issues they would like the Board to consider,” the selectmen’s statement said.
Selectmen view this forum as the first of “many opportunities for the community to publicly discuss this issue, share perspectives and answer questions,” the statement said. The next steps regarding the proposal will be determined based on input from Monday’s meeting.
World of Wellesley organizes events, projects, and programs that “emphasize the value in exploring our many cultures, religions, and ways of life,” according to the group’s website.
Anyone with questions may contact the Wellesley Board of Selectmen’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com.