~ Submitted by Indigenous Peoples Day Bedford
The 90-minute event is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on the quad at Middlesex Community College on Springs Road.
Town Meeting and the School Committee have designated the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day in Bedford. The celebratory program is taking place several days early, as performers are booked for larger commemorations on the actual day.
Bedford’s event plans to honor “the history, culture, and living presence of Indigenous Taino peoples of the Caribbean,” featuring remarks by Claudia Fox Tree, whose lineage is Taino/Arawak. Fox Tree, who lived in Bedford for many years, is a veteran Indigenous rights activist and a middle-school special-education teacher for more than 30 years.
BOMBAntillana, a Boston-based musical ensemble, will lead a participatory celebration of Bomba, a traditional music and dance form that was developed over 400 years ago in Boriken (Puerto Rico) by enslaved and free Taino and African Bantu peoples.
Bomba originated on sugar cane plantations of Spanish colonizers and is considered a powerful means of creative expression, healing, and resistance.
Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets. In case of inclement weather, the program will move to a tent on-site or in the nearby campus center (masks will be required inside).
The Oct. 2 event is sponsored by the group Indigenous Peoples Day Bedford, along with Bedford Embrace Diversity and the Parents Diversity Council. Organizers say they are ensuring that the event is in compliance with Covid 19 protocols.
For more information, contact IPDBedfordMA@gmail.com. Organizers are accepting donations through https://www.gofundme.com/f/BedfordIndigenousPeoplesDayEvent.