In the town of Natick there’s a street, a church, and even an obelisk monument dedicated to John Elliot, the English settler who established Natick in 1651.
He’s also on featured on the town seal — standing above three Indigenous people who are sitting on the ground.
“What I see when I see the seal is a caricature of Indigenous people, and [it] reinforces what I feel are disrespectful stereotypes,” said Mia Kheyfetz, a Natick resident who is pushing for a proposal before Natick’s town meeting this fall that would change the seal.
A similar debate is happening at the State House, where there is legislation pending to review the seal featured on the Massachusetts state flag. It depicts a sword hanging over the head of an Indigenous man.
“We are happy to see the broader movement that’s happening with the municipalities, especially with Natick taking on the seal issue,” said Jean-Luc Pierite, president of the North American Indian Center of Boston's board of directors.