National Day of Mourning remembered fifty years later

(Above) Frank “Wamsutta” James, one-time leader of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and then-president of the Federated Eastern Indian League, began the first National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving Day in 1970 in Plymouth, MA, with a powerful statement that he was not allowed to deliver by local officials. Click here for the eight-minute video produced by Native America marketing agency SmokeSygnals.


Mashpee Wampanoag tribe members Russell Peters, Hartman Deetz, Paula Peters and Linda Coombs comment throughout the eight-minute video.


Tall Oak Weeden, tribal elder of Wampanoag, Pequot, and Narragansett decent, also related his experiences with the annual event.


Weeden’s father, Everett “Tall Oak” Weeden, had watched Native people demanding civil rights and recognition in other parts of the country in the late 1960s.  Tall Oak, now 84, and his friend, James Fraser, now 91, sought out four other Native Americans to help with the planning, and together they organized the first Day of National Mourning.

Click here for a link to a five-hour video of the 2020 Day of Mourning event held in Plymouth, MA.

Click here for a page by Workers World on National Day of Mourning: The truth about the Pilgrims’ invasion and 400+ years of genocide that followed