The National Day of Mourning: A Necessary Call to Action

Brayton and I joined well over 1000 people gathered in Plymouth, MA on November 25, 2021 to participate in the National Day of Mourning. The day was filled with impassioned talks by indigenous speakers describing the injustice and atrocities suffered by native peoples at the hands of white immigrants who colonized the lands where they lived.

Song lyrics carried the message as well…

Well we had a rough past

But be ready for the sequel

We don’t have to hide

For now is the time…

No, we can’t take the dread anymore

We are the ones our grandmothers were praying for

So rise up, warriors

This time its not Indians and cowboys

It’s all people rising up with love

As did the many banners and signs…

One land, one people

Una Tierra, un pueblo

We are not vanishing

We are not conquered

We are as strong as ever

Follow the wise leadership of those who are oppressed

The National Day of Mourning educated those of us in need. It also revealed the resilience and resolve of those united in the cause for indigenous rights. Most importantly, it invited and ignited a call for all people to educate themselves and others, establish justice, and heal the wounds of oppression by following the wise leadership of those who have been oppressed. United and sustained work for justice in the world must be the outcome of The National Day of Mourning if it is to realize its deepest purpose.

For a related Servant Song article see:

  Indigenous People’s Lead Us by Brenna Cussen Anglada

“ If we wish to …forge respectful and restorative relationships with native neighbors, we will have to abandon the privileges inherent in settler ‘unknowing’ and embrace a double task. First, we will need to build our literacy in indigenous histories held by the land and the people around us, as well as their continuing culture and lifeways. Second, we will need to revise our own narratives, which for so long have been distorted by colonial supremacy.”  quoted by Brenna from Healing Haunted Histories, Elaine Enns and Ched Meyers