Upcoming Events

IPCC Hosts: Discussion of Killers of the Flower Moon

Tuesday November 28th at 7PM in Hunneman Hall

IPCC hosts Killers of the Flower Moon, with IPCC member Kailey Bennet moderating. Tuesday, November 28th at 7pm. Hunneman Hall, Brookline Village Library

Have you seen the new film Killers of the Flower Moon? Or read the book? There’s so much to talk about in this true and horrific story — which, in a film review, The New York Times called “a true-crime epic that (Martin) Scorsese — with grace, sorrow and sublime filmmaking clarity — has turned into a requiem for the country.”

Join Brookline’s Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee, led by two Indigenous voices, for a discussion around representation of Native Americans in film, the history behind the book and film, how the film met expectations and how it could have been better. The event takes place Tuesday, November 28 at 7 pm in Hunneman Hall at the Brookline Village Library.

The story told in Killers of the Flower Moon takes place on the Osage Reservation in Oklahoma and "revisits a history of violence as fraught and bloody as that of the United States itself. The crimes it primarily recounts trace back to 1921 … and involved the murder of several dozen Osage,” the Times’ Manohla Dargis wrote. “Some were shot, others were blown up, while still others died from an enigmatic wasting illness, though were likely poisoned.”

The conversation will be led by Kailey Bennett, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, who now resides in Brookline, but was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bennett is a staff member at Harvard University’s Native American Program.

Felina Silver, the chair of the Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee, also is Cherokee. The committee also includes Brookline residents Nancy Goldner, Shana Penna, Katherine Florio, Jody Leader and Paul McLean.

For questions, or access needs, please contact Caitlin Starr, MPH, CDE at 617-730-2345 or [email protected]

This program is sponsored by the Brookline Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee and the Brookline Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Relations. 

Closed Event: BHS Presentation from Thomas Green

The Brookline Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee and Brookline High School are honored to host Thomas (Spirit Tree) Green on Wednesday November 29th beginning at 12:19 in the MLK Room. Mr. Green is a descendent of the Neponset band of Massachusett who gathered at the praying town of Ponkapoag. He is a Tribal Council Member and Chairman of the tribes History Preservation Committee. He is an Indigenous artist focused on quahog shell, seed bead jewelry and traditional indigenous regalia. Mr. Green is also an Indigenous Culture Steward/Educator/Consultant and Cultural interpreter specializing in the indigenous history of Massachusetts and indigenous land acknowledgments.

We are excited about our collaboration to bring Mr. Thomas Green’s presentation to our Brookline High School community!

Historical Acknowledgement

As we gather today as Town Meeting Members, let us take a moment to acknowledge the history of this land we call Brookline.

This is the unceded land of the Massachusett people, whose traditions, language and stewardship continue today through their lineal descendants, the Massachusett Tribe of Ponkapoag. Today, we are living on land that was taken by force. By 1641, the colonists in “Brookline” had allocated to themselves almost all land that had been inhabited by Indigenous people.

Land was not the only form of theft that occurred. Lives were also stolen. Historical records state that in 1675, during King Philip’s War, seven Indigenous men were sold into slavery in the Caribbean by residents of the area that we now call Brookline. The seven men represent part of the early slave trade.

Slavery in Brookline continued and grew but soon those enslaved were African or of African descent. By 1746, enslavers claimed ownership of over half of all Brookline land.

We acknowledge the theft of land, culture, and lives and the ensuing enslavement of Indigenous and African peoples that occurred here. These early policies set the stage for centuries of systemic racism.

As we remember these atrocities, Town Meeting Members and the larger Town must commit ourselves to address the ongoing inequities that are the result of our history of colonialism and racism. Although we as individuals were not perpetrators of these atrocities, we benefit from these systems. Thus, we dedicate ourselves to addressing them today.


Indigenous Peoples Day - October 9, 2023

The Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee joined together in celebrating, honoring and commemorating the shared history and culture of Indigenous Peoples this past Monday, October 9, 2023.

You can watch the recoding of the event here!  

This years Speaking Program featured  a reading of Brookline’s Land Acknowledgement followed by a welcome and poetry reading from the Committee’s chair person, as well as a presentations from artist Nayana LaFond and Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs.  

Nayana LaFond is an enrolled citizen of the Metis Nation of Ontario with roots in the Red River Settlement and is also of Anishinaabe, Mi'kmaq and other indigenous descent. She has been an artist her entire life and a curator, community and arts organizer for over 20 years.

Nayana's project, "Portraits in RED: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Painting Project" has gained international acclaim and attention. She has painted over 100 indigenous people effected by this crisis and does so for free. Her paintings continue to be displayed across turtle island to raise awareness.  Nayana will be speaking about the MMIP crisis and how the project began. She will share some of the stories she has permission to share and conclude with calls to action and things people can do to raise awareness and promote change.

Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has served congregations in California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Texas, as well as Quebec.  Clyde honors his Native American heritage (Texas Cherokee), which informs his spiritual understanding and practice, as well as his anti-racist and anti-oppressive commitment.  He has worked for peace, justice and equality since he was in the Unitarian Universalist youth movement, Liberal Religious Youth

The event also featured food from Chilacates. Local craft vendors selling: handcrafted candles, dream catchers, and beaded jewelry as well as several local Brookline organizations: Brookline Booksmith, Brookline League of Women Voters, MA Legislative Agenda, Mothers Out Front, and Footprints - a local Brookline neighborhood walking tour of Indigenous history here in Brookline. 

Brookline's annual Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration is sponsored by the Brookline Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee and the Brookline Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Relations.  


Indigenous Authors Book Club 2023

In January 2023, we had our first Book Club.  Book Club participants read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  

In April 2023, IPCC held it's second Book Club.  Book Club participants read There There by Tommy Orange. 

In July 2023, IPCC held it's third Book Club.  Participants read Notable Native People written by Adrienne Keene and illustrated by Ciara Sana.

In November 2023, IPCC held it's fourth Book Club.  Participants read The Rediscovery of America by Ned Blackhawk.  

Indigenous Peoples Day 2022

In October of  2022, the Brookline Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee, in partnership with the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations invited the community to participate in the 2022 Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration held at the Brookline Health Building and Garden of Remembrance.

We celebrated with free food from Manoa Poke Shop, supported various local Indigenous art and craft vendor, and learned about the history and current political and social justice actions of Indigenous peoples in Brookline and throughout Massachusetts.

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

The Indigenous Peoples Celebration Committee and the Brookline Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations  celebrated Native American Heritage Month with a Conversation on Climate: Indigenous Communities and Climate Justice this past Monday, November 28, 2022 from 7-8 pm.

The program featured a recorded presentation from Julian Aguon, a Chamorro human rights lawyer, defender, and author from Guam. He is the founder of Blue Ocean Law, an international law firm based in Guam, specializing in human and indigenous rights, self-determination, and environmental justice in the Pacific.  His presentation also included a reading from his new book ‘No Country for Eight Spot Butterflies’, a collection of essays on resilience and power in the age of climate disaster.

Our Keynote Speaker, Crystal Johnson, presented A Black Indigenous Voice: Advancing Climate Justice with Science, Collaboration, Sacred Conservation, and Human Faith. Crystal Johnson is an astute energy and environmental leader with more than twenty-five years of accomplishments in strategic planning, management, policy, research, and assessment of energy (energy equity, clean energy workforce development, energy efficiency, energy management, renewables, emissions inventory), environmental resources (water, air, natural resources, food systems, and other), and sustainability. She specializes in energy equity, clean energy workforce development, stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and climate action planning.

This program was made possible by a grant from the Brookline Community Foundation and support from Brookline Interactive Group and educators at Brookline High School.


IPCC Charge

Warrant Article 20 of the November 2017 Special Town Meeting was a resolution urging the Select Board to establish Indigenous Peoples Day on the second Monday of October and to appoint an Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration Committee to develop and implement the Town's commemoration of indigenous Peoples Day.

To implement the purposes of Warrant Article 20:

  1. The Select Board hereby proclaims that Indigenous Peoples Day shall be celebrated in Brookline on the second Monday of October.
  2. The Select Board encourages the citizens of Brookline to use Indigenous Peoples Day to commemorate and celebrate indigenous peoples in Massachusetts and the Americas and to study and become educated on the culture, history, and diversity of indigenous peoples in Massachusetts and the Americas.
  3. The Select Board hereby establishes an Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration Committee to develop and implement the commemoration of Indigenous Peoples Day as follows:
    1. The Committee shall be comprised of 5 residents of Brookline appointed by the Select Board. The Select Board may appoint additional resident voting members to the Committee upon the request of the Committee. A majority of the appointed members shall be a quorum for the conduct of business.
    2. The Committee is urged to invite other Town residents, schools, non-profit organizations, civic organizations, and businesses to participate as non-voting members in the programming of the Committee.
    3. The Committee shall collaborate with the Commission on Diversity Inclusion and Community Relations to develop programming that expresses the Town's values of diversity, inclusion, and positive community relations among all peoples.
    4. The Committee shall provide ideas and assistance to the Public Schools of Brookline to develop appropriate commemorations of Indigenous Peoples Day and instruction in the schools on the culture, history, and diversity of indigenous peoples.
    5. The Committee may invite non-voting participation by non-resident New England based indigenous people and local or national organizations of indigenous peoples to assist in developing the programming of the Committee.
    6. The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations may assist the Committee in identifying and applying for funding and resources necessary for the Committee's work.
    7. The Committee's focus shall be on the culture, history and diversity of indigenous peoples, including the adversities suffered by indigenous peoples as a result of European conquest of the Americas, but in a manner that prioritizes education and reconciliation and appropriate advocacy in line with the Town's values of diversity, inclusion, and positive community relations among all peoples.