President Kurt’s Statement on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 11, 2022

Montserrat Community:

In the same way we begin any major college event, I would like to begin this note by reminding us of the Land Statement: 

Montserrat College of Art would like to acknowledge the Naumkeag (Nah- um-kee-ahg) people, as it was their ancestral lands until disease, war, slavery and colonization displaced them from their homeland. The Naumkeag people were part of the Massachusett Alliance and their descendants are now included in the many tribal nations across the Northeast. We recognize our obligations to this land and to the Indigenous people who care for it.  As we work toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, we acknowledge our need to decolonize our systems by including Indigenous people and perspectives in our discourse, artistic education, and academic and leadership teams.

As you take some time to reflect on this Indigenous People’s Day, please remember the people who worked and lived on the land we occupy. They were stripped of so much and it is our privilege to inhabit this land. 

As we continue working towards diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging goals, I want us as a community to remember the Indigenous People and how we might be able to create actionable items to inspire positive change. Next year, the college will be launching a BIPOC and LGBTQ+ Teaching Fellowship which creates a real opportunity to serve this historically underrepresented community. It is my hope that we have an Indigenous person participate in the program once up and running. 

I hope as a community we can find opportunities to create more tangible action items. Please reach out to Chair of the DEIB Committee Jesse Kahn if you have ideas or want to become more involved.

I hope you will use this day to reflect on the past and envision a better future for all.

Be well,

President Kurt