Mayor Tom Menino has taken the first step toward repealing a 329-year-old law that orders the arrest of all American Indians who enter the city.
The law has not been enforced for centuries, but tribes have been trying to win a repeal for years.
The City Council passed a resolution in favor of repeal last year; the final action must be taken by the Legislature. Menino filed a petition to set the process in motion.
"It's time to make things right," he said in a statement the day before Thanksgiving.
The colonial Legislature approved the statute Oct. 13, 1675, during King Philip's War, one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history -- a series of battles between colonists and tribes.