NEWTON (CBS) – Members of the Indigenous and Native American community held a ceremony near Newton City Hall Monday to mark Indigenous Peoples’ Day, just a short distance from where the Boston Marathon was being held.
The family of Ellison Brown received an award from the city at the event. Brown was a member of the Narragansett tribe and won the race in 1936 and 1939.
“My role and my purpose is to make sure that my uncle’s experience, the challenges that he went through in the early 1900s is brought to the forefront,” said Hiawatha Brown, great nephew of Ellison Brown.
Back in August, the Boston Athletic Association apologized for holding the marathon on Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year.
The BAA said it did not intend to take away from celebrations for the Indigenous and Native American Community when it rescheduled the race from its traditional April date to October 11, due to the pandemic.
“We extend our sincere apologies to all Indigenous people who have felt unheard or feared the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day would be erased. We are sorry,” the BAA said August 27.
Boston observed Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day for the first time Monday, a week after Acting Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order making the change.
Columbus Day is still a federal holiday but there has been a growing movement to have it replaced with Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Cambridge and Somerville have also adopted the holiday in Massachusetts.