Take Action

Lead Organizers:

First Nations Rights

This working group is projects based and driven by volunteers who are working in partnership and/or accountable relationship with indigenous leadership.

If you’d like to join this group and suggest a campaign or project, please contact Laura Wagner: lwagner@uumassaction.org

UU Mass Action in working in coalition with our partners at:

United American Indians of New England

North American Indian Center of Boston

Massachusetts Indigenous Legislative Agenda 2019-2020

Honor Indigenous Peoples Day

Protect Native American Heritage

Remove Racist Mascots

Change the State Flag & Seal

Educate Native Youth

One Sheet Summary - Handout

Study & Discussion Guide: “Hidden Genocide, Hidden People” by Dennis Cerrotti

Intro Event, to introduce four week Study and Discussion Group: IntroductionHiddenGenocideGroup


Addendum, Additional Readings, Hidden Genocide

Summary of Puritan to Unitarian Univeralist Evolution

Participant Feedback:

From First Parish Brewster:

“My thanks to the First Nations working group who spent time and effort on this valuable curriculum and additional articles and quotes.”

“Many thanks for arranging the indigenous studies class. I was very glad to know that someone has updated the literature offerings on this important topic……….Hidden Genocide, Hidden People addresses many painful and horrifying aspects of European (mostly British) religious based politics and practices that were inflicted on indigenous people here in New England.  The class was extremely informative and added to our growing understanding of just how “inaccurate” our education has been over the centuries on this topic and how our ignorance has enabled the ongoing marginalization of our First Nation citizens.” 

“Thank you so much for leading the book study of the book Hidden Genocide Hidden People. I learned so much that I had not know previously.  It was a tough story to hear. It made a big difference to me that the author included so much text from original documents.  They were startlingly informative. The book has inspired me to want to learn more and to do what I can to make amends for the destruction our ancestors reaped on these honorable people.”

Why this working group chose this book:

It the story of how Puritan theology engaged in genocide rationalization. The roots of our Unitarian faith are part of this story and UU need both udnerstand and know are part in this story. The book does a good job from the point of view of how it handles Indigenous resistance to being evangelized.  Dennis Cerrotti is a document historian which means reading white documents and critiquing them.  He does this well. In the words of James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” It is important for UUs to confront out history.

Congregation Study Guide


9/7/19 NYT Article: A State Wrestles with its Imagery, A Sword Looming Over A Native American

Institute for New England Native America Studies.  Dr. Cedric Woods’ blog: Click HERE

UUA, Doctrine of Discovery


Washington State’s successful campaign to include First Nation’s history in their public education curriculum

Washington state’s new native history curriculum  http://www.thestranger.com/news/feature/2015/06/24/22438654/teaching-tribal-history-is-finally-required-in-washington-public-schools

Here is the main website for the curriculum initiative itself: http://indian-ed.org/

Land Research – tools to research the indigenous inhabitants of local land:

#1 To locate the correct registry of deeds in MA:
#2 To search for records between 1629 and 1799 in MA:
#3 The W.E.B. Du Bois Library (Amherst, MA) owns numerous and varied examples of old land records from various towns on MA:


Learn about an important land conservancy organization:  http://www.nativelandconservancy.org/home.html

Excerpt from the Native Land Conservancy website:

“Native Land Conservancy was founded in 2012 in Mashpee, Massachusetts, and is the first Native-run land conservation group east of the Mississippi. After centuries of hardship and economic struggle, it is only now that we can finally attend to the important work of protecting sacred spaces, habitat areas for our winged and four legged neighbors and other essential ecosystem resources to benefit Mother Earth and all human beings. All land is sacred in our eyes and worthy of special care; thus our reasons and interest in rescuing and preserving ancient ancestral village sites where our ancestors once lived and worked. In recognition of shared values, we enjoy our partnership with other local and regional land conservancies. The NLC offers presentations of our native culture and history of the lands we are preserving during co-walking adventures open to the public.”

Wampanoag Resources

The 400th anniversary of First Contact will occur in 2020.  Various groups in First Nations communities are developing written histories to be told from their perspective.  The Wampanoag community is working with the Plymouth 400 committee to ensure that the First Nation’s perspective is included.  First Nations communities are organizing Pow Wows and social events to organize members and bring attention to this significant anniversary.

Links to Paula Peters work (Mashpee Wampanoag):

Captured: 1614  http://plymouth400inc.org/events/captured-1614

Mashpee 9:  https://www.facebook.com/Mashpeenine

Another accomplishment of note for Paula is her interview with Leonard Peltier


Check out her website: smokesygnals.com

From Beth Brownfield, First Parish Bellingham, WA

This is the most comprehensive presentation on indigenous teachings about Climate Justice I have ever seen or heard.  I will watch this over and over to fully take it in.


Beth Brownfield also developed this resource:

Handout Becoming Partners and Allies with Indigenous Neighbors

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Building Partnerships for Justice with Indigenous Communities


Some great books to check out

Books List

“All the Real Indians Died Off,” And 20 other Myths About Native Americans, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

1491: New Revelation of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles Mann

The Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Firsting & Lasting: Writing Indians Out of Existence in New England, by Jean O’Brien

Hidden Genocide, Hidden People, by Dennis Cerrotti

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery, by Steven Newcomb