Dr. Jeremy Campbell, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Roger Williams University and a Fulbright Scholar with expertise on Indigenous peoples and their land, presented the history and present of the Pokanoket Nation, the original inhabitants of Bristol, with a special focus on how the Pokanoket have recently sought to challenge their erasure from the history of the region in a 90-minute on-line zoom session open to the campus and the public. Click here for a 100-minute video of the Zoom presentation heard by 240 participants.

“Bristol is very proud of its colonial history – it’s painted red, white, and blue right down the middle of the road – and justifiably so,” states Campbell, “but there’s an earlier history that is also crucial to understand, and it’s written right here in the land and its people are still here,” (Click on graphics above and below for a larger image.)


Campbell explored the history of the Pokanoket nation, the original inhabitants of the Bristol and greater East Bay area, and their ancestral land which they called Sowams which spans from the genocidal King Philip’s War, which paved the way for colonization, to watching the seat of their spiritual and political homeland carved into a Cold War-era Nike missile site, and how current day tribal members ensure their traditions survive and endure.

As part of a collaborative, student-driven research project, Campbell and his students have published a 12-page booklet on the local Indigenous peoples in order to preserve and reveal new perspectives of the stories that have shaped our local area, dating back 400 years to present day. Click here for an on-line version.