October 16, 2019

Congratulating Mayor and Council On Indigenous Peoples Day Resolution

To the Editor:

We the undersigned want to congratulate Mayor Lempert and the Princeton Town Council on their leadership in approving Resolution 19-278: “Declaring that the Second Monday in October shall be known as Indigenous Peoples Day in the Municipality of Princeton; Encouraging other Institutions to Recognize the Day; and Reaffirming the Municipality’s Commitment to Promote the Well-Being and Growth of Indigenous Communities.”

We thank the Town Council as a body for having the vision and courage to approve this resolution, which recognizes the oft-ignored history of the thriving indigenous peoples on this land prior to European colonization, their survival against the odds of racism and forced removals, and the value of their continuing presence in our community. We thank Mayor Liz Lempert for her immediate positive response after listening to proposals for such a day made by Princeton citizens at the Princeton Council meeting on October 8, 2018. We thank the Civil Rights Commission and its ad hoc Committee members for their work in bringing this resolution to fruition. Our sincere gratitude to the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape and Ramapough Lenape Nations for their support for this resolution.

We are proud to be citizens of Princeton, which is now one of only two New Jersey towns to officially recognize “Indigenous Peoples Day.” We look forward to celebrating the indigenous peoples’ contributions and history.

The recognition of this day is but a first step in our long road to healing together. As we go forward, we urge the people of Princeton and the Town Council to partner with our indigenous communities and find significant and material ways to reckon with our shared history.

Mary Beth Charters
Leabrook Lane

Kip Cherry
Dempsey Avenue

Daniel Harris, Lori Simon
Dodds Lane

Salma Hashem, Patricia Soll
Linden Lane

Roberto Schiraldi
Delamere Drive

Wilma Solomon
Tee-Ar Place

Fern Spruill, Larry Spruill
Oak Lane