As part of his course on “Decolonizing the Land” at Roger Williams University professor Jeremy M. Campbell interviewed Dr. David Weed, Coordinator of the Sowams Heritage Area Project.
In the course of the 40-minute interview, Dr. Weed describes how the project began and how it has been working closely with members of the Pokanoket Tribe, the descendants of the Massasoit Osamequin who lived in the Sowams Area between the late 1500s and 1661, When the Massasoit died, he was buried in the Royal Burial Ground at Burr’s Hill in Warren, RI which is behind Dr. Weed’s house.
The story of the Pilgrims’ landing in Plymouth in 1620 cannot be told accurately without understanding the role that the Pokanoket Tribe played in their survival and, unfortunately, how that positive relationship deteriorated after 1640, resulting in the King Philip War and the subsequent near expulsion of the Tribe from the area.
“As the Sagamore [of the Pokanoket Tribe], Bill Guy says, ‘this is about undoing the lies’,” said Weed, emphasizing the role of the project in educating the public about the accurate history of the 17th century that took place in this area.
While much more of the accurate history Pokanoket Tribe is described on other pages of this web site, the following reading list prepared by RWU professor Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell can also help expand on the true history of the Sowams Heritage Area: