Milton’s K–12 community welcomed Larry Spotted Crow Mann, an Indigenous speaker, writer, artist, and advocate, for its all-school programming Tuesday in recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Mr. Mann, a member of the Nipmuc Tribe of Massachusetts, shared music, language, games, and storytelling with students, as well as some of the history of the people who have lived in the region since well before European settlers arrived. He told students the preservation of traditions and cultures—in the face of systematic oppression—is a testament to the endurance and resilience of Indigenous peoples, who have passed down stories and practices through generations.
“Everything starts with a story,” said Mr. Mann. “We have a language that did not disappear because our grandparents, and their grandparents, and so on, made sure that we still have our words.”
Mr. Mann is a founder and co-director of the Ohketeau Cultural Center, the only Native-founded and operated cultural center in central and western Massachusetts. He has authored several books, including Drumming & Dreaming, and has traveled throughout the United States and abroad to share the music, culture, and history of the Nipmuc people. In 2021, he was the first Native American to sing the opening honor song and deliver the land acknowledgment in the history of the Boston Marathon, and received the NAACP Indigenous Peoples Award the same year.