Marblehead Town Meeting to be asked to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day

Feb 20, 2019 513

BY: Chris Stevens

In the mid-1980s, Holly Jaynes asked her mother why she was teaching second graders about Christopher Columbus. “I didn’t know what to do,” Jaynes said. “All I could do was tell her not to teach it.” Since that day more than 30 years ago, Jaynes has found the words to explain why Columbus shouldn’t be celebrated and she is part of a movement to spread the word.

Jaynes, along with Leah Bokencamp and Sherry Gagne, is sponsoring a warrant article that asks Town Meeting to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day. Bokencamp and Jaynes were both inspired after hearing Mahtowin Munro, a Native American woman, speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Marblehead. Bokencamp said she too had been nursing a growing unease with the holiday and Munro’s talk confirmed for her the idea that Columbus is not one to be honored.

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