Students Reflect on Native American Heritage Month

On Friday, November 12, aligned with Native American Heritage Month, CSW and Rivers students visited Regis College’s campus for reflective and educational programming on our current conceptions of property and land in small groups with students from other schools. The intent was to consider what our institutions can do to recenter The Indigenous Peoples whose land we now call “Weston.”

Due to the weather, the programming was moved indoors to the foyer of The Student Life Building at Regis. Sydnie Schwarz, Middle School Diversity, Equity & Inclusion coordinator and 8th grade humanities teacher at Rivers led the programming. Students were asked to watch the Nikki Sanchez video earlier in the week in preparation.
 
The day began with introductions in mixed-school groups, with sharing something that stuck with them from the video. Participants spoke about the commonality of attending schools in modern-day Weston, recognizing that the existence and acknowledgement of “Weston” is only possible as a result of a history of colonization and land theft. 
 
The group spent the hour having conversations on the occupation of the ancestral land of the Masschusett and Pawtucket peoples. CSW is on the land of these two peoples and about half of the Rivers campus also occupies ancestral land of the Nipmuc Nation. 
 
The goal was to begin to lay the groundwork at our institutions, which are connected in historical positionality because of our physical locations. The hope was that we can hold each other accountable and communicate ideas with each other after today as we move forward. 
 
The following are some potential action items students agreed upon. 
  • How does Eurocentricity show up on our day to days
  • Buildings named after white men
  • Continuous expansion of campus, no acknowledgement of the land we are on
  • Glorification of Abraham Lincoln and other moments of history
  • Addressing microaggressions
  • Land Back 
  • Who has access to the land CSW is on
  • Make conversations and investigation of Indigenous history less voluntary and more accessible
  • Build into education and DEI programing a plan to dismantle white apathy
CSW thanks Sydnie Schwarz and CSW History Teacher Jordan Clark for all their hard work over the summer to make this day possible.

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.