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Photo: By John Phelan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23285330

Earth Minute 5/13/20 Mashpee Wamanoag Update

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Cape Cod, is one of two remaining federally recognized tribes of Wampanoag people in Massachusetts. There were 69 tribes when English colonists arrived.

Colonists sold the Wampanoags into slavery, brought devastating diseases and steadily took over their resource-rich lands until, in the 1960s, the Mashpee Wampanoags lost everything when they were absorbed as a town controlled by euro-American settlers.

In the 1970s the Mashpee Wampanoag joined the national Indian movement and demanded federal recognition.  Thirty years later they won it, and in 2015 the Department of the Interior created a 321 acre reservation. 

But then on March 27th 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Trump’s Department of the Interior ordered the reservation to be dismantled.

A preliminary injunction has been filed to halt this process, and there will be an online public hearing next Wednesday, May 20.  

The tribe is asking the public to support their struggle to retain that remaining fragment of their ancestral lands.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.