In selecting the fall date for the Boston Marathon, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) in no way wanted to take away from Indigenous Peoples’ Day or celebrations for the Indigenous and Native American Community. We extend our sincere apologies to all Indigenous people who have felt unheard or feared the importance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day would be erased. We are sorry.
In meeting with representatives from the Federal and State Recognized Tribes, we recognize there are immediate next steps we can take, as we continue meeting with these groups and planning for October:
- Prior to the start of the Boston Marathon, a land acknowledgement will take place to recognize that the race travels through Indigenous homelands. The B.A.A. is better understanding the trauma experienced over centuries by the Indigenous People who lived on these lands, and we will work with the Federal and State Recognized Tribes on this land acknowledgment.
- The B.A.A. will donate to the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Newton Committee working through its fiscal agent, Newton Community Pride, and intended to support the work of the Indigenous Peoples’ Day Newton Committee, to fund their first-ever Indigenous Peoples’ Day Celebration.
- The B.A.A. will celebrate Indigenous runners, Ellison Brown (Narragansett, champion of the 1936 and 1939 races) and Patti Catalano Dillon (Mi’kmaq, three-time runner-up), through its banner program across Boston. The B.A.A. will also recognize another champion, Tom Longboat from 1907, as well as other top Native American finishers in race history, through campaigns, features, and programming.
- The B.A.A. will recognize Indigenous athletes participating in the 125th Boston Marathon over race weekend and on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- In planning for Boston Marathon weekend and race day, the B.A.A. will continue to work with Indigenous runners and organizations who seek to strengthen Native youth and families through running. More information on this programming will be shared when it is finalized.
We are committed to continuing to work with Indigenous Peoples in the lead up to Indigenous Peoples’ Day and in the future.