BROOKLINE — Brookline High School’s student-run newspaper, formerly “The Sagamore,” will change its name out of respect for Indigenous people who use the word.
“The Sagamore,” as the paper has been called since its founding in 1893, references the Indigenous term “Sagamore,” which denotes a leader of some New England Indigenous tribes, including the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag. The Massachusett people formerly occupied the land of the Town of Brookline before European colonization wiped out much of the population and forced them to Ponkapoag (now Canton area).
Over the past four years, the newspaper staff has engaged in careful historical research and discussions with Indigenous leaders, including the current Sagamore of the Massachusett Tribe at Ponkapoag, Faries Gray. They concluded that there is no way for the newspaper to call itself “The Sagamore” in a way that respects the Massachusett people. The name perpetuates a history of misrepresentation and appropriation of Indigenous peoples and serves as a reminder of the erasure of their cultures.
The newspaper is using this opportunity to increase coverage of Indigenous communities and educate newspaper staff and readers.
The newspaper will select a new name through a town-wide contest, where community members can submit name suggestions. For more details on the contest and to submit a name, click here.
A Google account is required to submit a suggested name.
Current newspaper staff has compiled its research and decision-making process into several articles. The largest and most comprehensive of these articles, published in the newspaper’s January issue. To read the online edition, click here.