Native American Commemorative Task Force Discusses Monument Plans Thursday

Poet Dan Speers. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill’s Native American Commemorative Task Force meets Thursday night to continue planning for the eventual creation of a historical memorial geared to the heritage of the city’s indigenous population.

Chair Dan Speers says discussion includes setting the parameters of the group’s mission and considering various proposals for incorporating new signage; possible changes to the existing Hannah Duston statue at Grand Army of the Republic Park, downtown; possible park expansion and locations; and the use of new statuary.

“In terms of culture, heritage and history, we need to consider what individuals or groups we ask to submit research or documentation that will be considered for inclusion in the project. In terms of scope, we need to begin consideration of what aspects of current or proposed statuary might be considered, and at what location,” Speers says in an agenda posting.

Task Force members plan a project that “celebrates the history and heritage of the indigenous communities that lived, thrived and prospered in the pre-Columbian Merrimack Valley; provides accurate historical perspectives on what transpired and happened to these peoples on the arrival, disruption and colonization by Europeans; and  inspires this and coming generations with the knowledge and confidence that while we are correcting and recognizing the inequities, stresses and sacrifices of the past, our goal is to foster cultural and ethnic unanimity.”

The in-person meeting takes place Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m., at City Hall, room 301, 4 Summer St., Haverhill. An online component is also planned.

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