Thanking the first people of our land

By Joe Palumbo

As a group of visitors and I  wandered along the banks of the Concord River in the bright morning sun we discussed the first people of this land. We talked about the homes they build and the thriving settlement they had created along the rivers. We marveled at the bounty of their planting fields, the fullness of their catches at the fishing weir on the brook that feeds the river. Their leaders were both women and men and the systems of collaboration, group decision-making, and cooperation were fundamental to the structure of their society. For 10,000 years they lived in a land of abundance seeking to keep and foster balance with the natural world, their mother, who sustained them always. To the Nipmuc people and to many of the first people of this area we live upon the back of a great turtle. This giant turtle’s back is marked with thirteen squares for the thirteen moons indicating the thirteen moons that mark the passage of seasons and the ongoing cycle of life itself. As you look today to the land, the sky, the trees, or perhaps even the river take a moment to reflect, honor, and thank the first people of this land for their millennials of stewardship and care of this land.

Joe Palumbo,  born and raised in Concord on a farm along Battle Road works as an interpreter and tour guide here in town. He is focused on sharing both the well know and the lesser-known local narratives as we work to broaden the story of our town.

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