In the painting, "The Embarkation of the Pilgrims," by Robert W. Weir, Myles Standish and also his wife, Rose, are on the much right, in the foreground. (Wikimedia Commons)Massachusetts is deciding whether to redesign the state motto and also seal, picture that critics say depicts the violence that European colonization of the Americas. The seal features a disembodied arm, knife in hand, floating over a indigenous American.

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It is widely thought to it is in Myles Standish’s eight swinging the sword, a notion that should particularly resonate with the Boston University community. (Editor"s Note: BU owns ugandan-news.com"s broadcast license.)

Built in 1925 and purchased by BU in 1949, Myles Standish room not just serves as the eastern gateway come the Charles flow Campus, yet it additionally pays tribute come Plymouth Colony. According to campus chronicler Daryl Healea, the building’s triangular design was meant to resemble the bow the a ship, an homage to the 300th anniversary that the Mayflower’s landing in 1620. Standish, hired together the Pilgrim’s military leader, was aboard the ship.

He walk on come commit devastating acts of violence versus the Massachusett Tribe, whose villages as soon as stretched from present-day Boxford to Mattapoisett. A year ago, ns asked cutting board Green, vice president of the Massachusett people at Ponkapoag, if members of the people were interested in working together to adjust the building"s name. ​Now the Tribal board of directors is calling because that the residence hall to be renamed to honor among Standish’s victims.

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Myles Standish hall in Boston is pictured in 2019. The previous hotel in Kenmore Square to be renovated and also converted to a student residence by Boston University. (Lane Turner/The Boston globe via Getty Images)

In 1623, Standish led a small group the Plymouth settlers in what has involved be well-known as The Massacre at Wessagusset. Standish and agency lured members that the Neponset tape of the Massachusett Tribe into a tiny building and attacked them, stabbing to fatality several the the men and also hanging another, a young man reported to have been just 18.

Standish’s major target to be a man named Wituwamat, a significant member that the Neponset Band and also a well-known warrior. Standish suspected Wituwamat was the architect the a large conspiracy against Plymouth Colony, despite scholars now imply that there was no actual proof of together a plot.

Regardless, Standish beheaded Wituwamat and prominently presented the gruesome trophy as a warning to other Natives. Follow to one historian, “Wituwamat’s head stayed on Plymouth’s meetinghouse-fort for at the very least six month in 1623 and probably much longer, publicly shown for human being to watch the deterioration of its skin and flesh until just the skull stayed to terrify.”

Though Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1858 romantic city “The Courtship of mile Standish” posthumously made the a national hero, Standish’s actions in ~ Wessagusset were automatically controversial. John Robinson, pastor to the Pilgrims, created a letter come Plymouth governor William Bradford criticizing the massacre and expressing pertains to over Standish’s violent disposition toward Natives. Neither behavior represented the values of a group that thought about themselves to be living saints.

Centuries later, Standish’s name looms large. Despite he was prone to violent outbursts when insulted about his diminutive stature, a 14-foot frosting in his likeness stand atop an substantial granite monument in Duxbury’s Myles Standish Monument State Reservation. Simply south the Plymouth, Myles Standish State woodland covers almost 12,500 acres and is a popular outdoor recreation site year-round. Significantly, Standish has no connection to BU nor the earlier Bay area. The university simply inherited the name once it purchase the short-lived hotel.

​With the assistance of the Massachusett Tribe and members of the BU community, ns am petitioning ​university leaders to change the name from Myles Standish room to Wituwamat Memorial Hall. The speak to comes as activists about the country have urged companies to remove derogatory names and also images connected with native Americans. Critical week, Squaw sink Ski will in California was renamed Palisades Tahoe. Years of Indigenous-led protests culminated in name changes for the Washington football Team and the Cleveland Guardians. ​To the chagrin of nativist Republican congressman Steve King, floor O" Lakes dairy firm removed the image of a native American woman from your packaging.

Founded in 1947 as both a museum and also a memorial to the homesteaders at Plymouth, Plimouth Plantation was last year change the name Plimouth Patuxet museum to more totally recognize the Wampanoag peoples whose homelands the Pilgrims claimed as their own.


BU, under President Robert A. Brown, has already recognized Juneteenth and also Indigenous Peoples’ work as college holidays. Previously, Brown appointed a committee come consider transforming the university’s mascot due to the fact that it is connected to "Gone through the Wind," a romantic depiction of the Confederacy’s defense of slavery in the polite War. Exhilaration on these issues is, according to Brown, “part of our commitment to do Boston university the diverse, equitable, and also inclusive ar that finest embodies ours values.”

The acknowledgment of indigenous Peoples’ job is a promising very first step to structure relationships in between the university and also Indigenous communities, however BU must do an ext than create internal committees to investigate issues involving aboriginal peoples in the future. Indigenous students, staff, and also faculty are considerably underrepresented.

The enrollment of african American/Black, Asian, Hispanic, multiracial and also international students has actually increased end the last five years, if the variety of American Indian/Alaska native (AIAN) and also Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI) student has significantly decreased, especially at the undergraduate level. Faculty diversity adheres to a similar trend, according to demography data published by the university. Simply put, indigenous peoples space the only racially or ethnically minoritized group not cultivation at BU.

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It is imperative, then, the the university partner with the Massachusett tribe at Ponkapoag and honor your wishes by making Wituwamat Memorial hall a reality. Together the very first building plenty of visitors come campus encounter, WMH would certainly be a powerful symbol of the university’s commitment to consistently evolve come reflect its main point values.