Native Village 
Youth and Education News

November, 2012

Antiquated  law banned Native Americans from Boston until 2005
Condensed by Native Village

Massachusetts: History reveals that the city of Boston hasn’t always been kind to American-Indians. In fact, until 2005, Native American's technically committed a crime every time they entered the city limits. 

Even though authorities long refused to enforce it, a law passed in 1675
banned Native Americans from entering Boston. Authorities had been afraid a “barbarous crew” might expose the city’s residents “to mischief.”

In 2004, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino called for doing away with the antiquated law.

“This law has no place in Boston,” Menino said then. “Fortunately this act is no longer enforced. But as long as it remains on the books, this law will  tarnish our image. Hatred and discrimination have no place in Boston. Tolerance, equality and respect — these are the attributes of our city.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed a law repealing the ban on American-Indians in 2005.

“It is our hope that signing this bill into law will provide some closure to  a very painful and old chapter in Massachusetts history,” Romney said then. “This archaic law belongs in the history books, not the law books.”

The 1675 Law



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