The Greenway Conservancy is honored to partner with Lesley University College of Art + Design and the North American Indian Center of Boston (NAICOB) to host the public art installation, Acknowledge + Listen: Undoing Colonial Design in Massachusetts.
Developed during the 2020-2021 academic year, the public artwork was co-designed by Lesley Art + Design students and faculty as one piece of a larger legislative project through which they worked locally and nationally with Indigenous project advisors, historians, and non-Indigenous legislative staff to challenge the racist imagery featured on the state seal and flag of Massachusetts. In addition to the public artwork, the students created a series of interactive research documents and an accompanying podcast, Beyond the Flag, that honors the voices of Native cultural and political leaders.
Together, the artwork, research documents, and podcast propel a larger public education initiative driven by the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda and NAICOB related to legislative bill S.2848 (signed into effect by Governor Charlie Baker in January 2021) to expand respectful awareness of and increase reciprocal intergovernmental engagement between state legislators and leaders of local tribes and sovereign Native Nations. In May 2022, the special commission established by the bill voted to support a complete revision to the seal and motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.