PBS American Portrait of Pokanoket Sagamore Winds of Thunder posted by Winter Hawk

American Indian Leader and Activist Ryan “Winter Hawk” posted a brief video of his grandfather, Sagamore Winds of Thunder, on the PBS National Storytelling Project website on September 20, 2020. He states “The tradition I carry on is one that has been the tradition of an entire nation which was here long before the inception of the United States.”

He continues, “My name is Po Wauipi Neimpaug and I am the leader of the Council Seven Royal House, Pokanoket Tribe of the Pokanoket Nation. Sagamore is my title, meaning “chief of chiefs.” This position has been passed down in my family through the generations. I am the tenth generation great grandson of the Massasoit Ousamequin who welcomed and helped the first settlers from the Mayflower.” Above graphics depict King Philip (Metacom) and Simeon Simon from whom the Sagamore is descended.

He ends by saying, “Today, our identity as a nation of people continues to be concealed by institutions attempting to erase our history and culture. As the Sagamore, it is my mission to ensure that the Pokanoket people will one day have the freedom to continue the traditions of our ancestors on our sacred lands.” [Click on the graphic to read the article that confirms that the Pokanoket name was changed to “Wampanoag” as part of the Tribe’s erasure.]

The video was recorded and edited by Winter Hawk and posted on PBS as part of a national storytelling project. These stories are woven into the American Portrait docuseries & TV specials, airing on PBS member stations across the country.

Click here for a five-minute video about the Tribe produced by Roger Williams University.

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