Wellesley Schools Tour: MassBay’s acknowledgment of the land; We are taught by school building managers; Dana’s new project is ready with a shovel

MassBay land acknowledgment board installed

MassBay Community College last week unveiled a permanent recognition plaque for the land at a party attended by the leaders of three indigenous tribes. MassBay is believed to be the first community college in Massachusetts to offer this public recognition a permanent mark and ceremony for reconciliation and healing. During the ceremony, the college announced the creation of an Indigenous scholarship for current and future MassBay students, for which fundraising has begun.

Masbay Community College’s photo

“Today Natives are visible,” said the (Croatian) Native Heritage Beetle Head of New England and Head of the MassBay Health Studies Program. “As a Native Massachusetts person, recognizing the land today that the MassBay Community College campus is located on land belonging to the Nipmuc, Pawtucket, and Massachusetts tribes has been historic to me, my family, and my tribe. Recognition is the first steps of tribal healing.”

Nine tribes were present at the gathering including the Croat, Puncaboj, Mi’kmaq, Mohawk, Cherokee, Blackfoot, Ambanwag, Natick Braing Indians, and Nipmook. Chief Black Wolf of Nipmuc, Chief Eagle Rising (Mi’kmaq) from the Great Lowell Indian Cultural Association, and 8-year-old Sophia Wise Owl (Ponkapoag) spoke at the gratitude ceremony for this recognition.

“We are proud to hold this important ceremony and to give appropriate recognition to the land on which our college is located,” said MassBay President David Podell. “As stated in our shield, we cannot change the past. But what we can and will do is honor the land, ancestors, and indigenous traditions as we at MassBay use this sacred land as a common place to nurture the educated to move forward and create a more inclusive world.”

The Head of the Hands of Praying Indians in Natick summed up the ceremony by saying: “I leave you with a fact: the people honor themselves when they honor their native people.”

Donations can be made to the Massbay Aboriginal Scholarship Fund by visiting www.massbay.edu/give, using the dropdown menu.

The Swellesley editors are in, but we need to clean up our work

While walking in the Hunnewell School District, we came across a different type of sign affixed to the chain link safety fence that surrounds the construction site.

Honeywell School sign

Dang, by mid-morning we had already used bad language, sleazy, and done something else on this list, which we’ll leave to your imagination.

Opening of Dana Hall

Dana Hall is another step closer to a major renovation of the upper school classroom building, the school’s largest academic space, dating back to 1956.

Dana Hall, Wellesley, Construction
Board Chair Courtney Caruso ’05; School Principal Catherine Bradley; The Campaign Steering Committee Chair and Manton Foundation Trustee Sandy Niles set out to start a classroom building project at the upper school.

“Our students have been at the center of all our decisions, discussions and desires,” said School Principal Catherine Bradley at the groundbreaking event. “We knew we needed a learning environment that caters to their needs and provides a space in which they can explore their interests, tackle new challenges, and reach their fullest potential.”

The project, designed by Dario Designs, is funded by a private charity. Last fall, Dana Hall announced a historic $15 million gift from the Manton Foundation, with $10 million set aside to support the Classroom Building. The project’s general contractor, CM&B Construction Management, estimates the schedule for 15-18 months for completion.

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