A Native American tribe is demanding that Boston University rename a dormitory in honor of a prominent Native American figure who was massacred by pilgrims along with other tribal members in 1623.
The dormitory, now known as Miles Stand Hall, is named after the military leader of the pilgrims. The Poncapug-based Massachusetts Tribe recently filed a petition to name the building the Vitovamat Memorial Hall in honor of the leader who was killed by Plymouth Colony settlers.
“Long celebrated as a New England folk hero, Miles Standish is remembered by the first people of this land for his acts of violence against his ancestors,” the online petition said. “
The petition also notes that “the call to rename the building comes amid a growing movement to redesign the state seal of Massachusetts, in which the stand’s arm hangs a sword over the head of a Native American.” ۔ “
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
According to tribal history, Standish and his men assassinated the Vito Wamaat and other members of the Massachusetts tribe’s Neponcet band because Standish suspected the Vito Wamaat of plotting against the new English colony. Viet Nam was beheaded and his head was displayed as a warning above the meeting house in Plymouth Colony.
The online petition also argued that the stand had nothing to do with the university or the stately backyard where the dormitory was located. Instead, the dormitory is named after the building’s original Myles Standish Hotel.
Built in 1925, the beautiful brick hotel was a few steps from the Boston Red Sox’s home, Charles River and Fanway Park. The university bought it in 1949 and converted it into a dorm.
A university spokesman did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Travis Franks, a postdoctoral associate at the university, argued in Tuesday’s op-ed for WBUR that renaming the dorm is the next logical step for BU, which has made its campus a “diverse, equitable and inclusive community.” “What a commitment.
He said the university has made other commendable efforts, such as recognizing Local People’s Day as a university holiday, but noted that local students, staff and teachers are “extremely under-represented” on campus.
“Again, it is important that the university partner with the Massachusetts Tribe at Ponkapog and respect their wishes by making the Wattoomat Memorial Hall a reality,” Franks wrote. “As the first building many visitors meet on campus, it will be a powerful symbol of the WMH University’s commitment to continuous evolution to reflect its core values.”