Pokanoket Tribe helps to celebrate Juneteenth holiday in Newport

The Rhode Island Slave Medallion Project, partnering with the City of Newport RI, the Newport Historical Society, the Newport Middle Passage Project, and Sankofa, held a celebration of the national Juneteenth holiday on June 19th, 2023 in Newport, RI. The day was marked around the country to commemorate the final announcement of the emancipation of slaves in the state of Texas in 1865. The Pokanoket Tribe was invited to participate as hundreds of Indigenous people were enslaved following King Philip’s War in 1676. Click here for a 28-minute video of the event.

(Above) Cliff Morey from Bristol, in the red hat, applauds both event emcee Charles Roberts and RI Governor Dan McKee who signed a bill later that day making Juneteenth a holiday in Rhode Island.

(Above) Among the speakers were Pokanoket Sachem Dancing Star, RI Secretary of State Gregg Amore and Newport Mayor Xaykham (Xay) Khamsyvoravong.

(Above) Pokanoket Sagamore Winds of Thunder delivered a statement written by Tribal Historian Donald Brown, Jr. before She Who Walks with the Wind read “ASSIMILATION”, a poem written by her Aunt, Elsie Morrison, and Rainbow Warrior sang a closing song.