The Importance of Acknowledging our History: The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts

This post is another in my ongoing blog series that acknowledges the ancestral lands on which the National Archives’ buildings are situated across the country. This series of acknowledgements is a simple way to offer our recognition and respect to the people  who once lived on these lands.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, is located in Boston, Massachusetts, which is situated on the ancestral lands of the Pawtucket and Massachusett peoples.

“Indigenous people have lived in Massachusetts for 12,000 years. The first known inhabitants of Massachusetts were Paleoindians who moved into New England just as the glaciers were retreating at the end of the last ice age. By the 16th century, New England was home to 100,000 Native people, with many residing in Massachusetts. Even today, there are still 37,000 Native-Americans living in Massachusetts, according to the 2010 Federal Census.” From the History of Massachusetts Blog, Native American Tribes in Massachusetts. 

JFK Library (from Google maps)
Same area showing Pawtucket and Massachusetts lands from 

The JFK Library uses this land acknowledgement for some family programming, which the Outreach and Program Manager drafted based on conversations with members of the Wampanoag Nation:

To open, I humbly start with a land acknowledgment to recognize the Indigenous tribes of the Pawtucket and Massachusett peoples of the Wampanoag Tribal Confederation territories who both past and present — and throughout many generations — have stewarded the land where the Kennedy Library is today. While a land acknowledgment is not enough, it is an important way to promote Indigenous visibility, and it serves as a reminder that we are on stolen and settled Indigenous land. I invite us all to contemplate how to better support Indigenous communities and to learn how to honor and take care of the land that each of us inhabits.” 

My thanks to Rachael MacAskill, Assistant Director, JFK Library, and Maria Quintero, Outreach and Program Manager, JFK Library,  who provided maps, photos and researched the information for this land acknowledgment.

Enter your address in this interactive map of Traditional Native Lands to see who once lived where you are now.

Additional information: 

Native Land Map: Massa-adchu-es-set
Native Land Map: Pawtucket
400 years of Wampanoag History