When the Pilgrims arrived in the Land of the People of the First Light, they found a thriving place with a multitude of indigenous people: the Massachusetts, the Pokanoket, the Nipmuck, and the Narragansett nations, among others. In this lecture, we stepped back into the 1600s to hear from representatives of these tribes what it meant for indigenous people to encounter the Pilgrims and Puritans. Click here for an hour and 43-minute YouTube video of the discussion.
Indigenous representatives explored the structure of tribal life, interactions between tribes, and their relationship to the English. They looked at the irreconcilable differences that eventually led to conflict, bloodshed and the defeat of the indigenous way of life.
They also explored the re-emergence of these tribes at a time when the US is reexamining its relationship to Native people and others. What reparations are needed, and how can we work for a more inclusive future? New England is only slowly coming to terms with its true past. This panel discussion is a key part of that process.
The presenters included Lance Young, chief of the Nemasket tribe; Faries Gray, sagamore, Ponkapoag tribe; Cora Peirce, historic preservation, Pocasset Wampanoag of Massachusetts and Rhode Island; and Brittney Walley, anti-mascot representative, Nipmuc tribe
Lance corrects some of the misconceptions about the Pokanoket People, often mistakenly called “Wampanoag”, a term that never existed before King Philip’s War.