Education

Interview: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe develops own school





Cape Cod Today interviews Morgan James Peters, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe who discusses the tribe's plans to open its own school:
Cape Cod Today: We understand that the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (MWT) is likely to form a school in the near future. You have previously told us that the tribe is considering both a Commonwealth Charter School or a Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) tribal school. Can you tell us which way the tribe is leaning right now and why?

Mwalim: The charter school is an initiative by the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project. That project is being actively pursued and developed.

Pursuing a private school or alternative school has been a conversation for the tribal Education Committee since 2002. There was a recognized serious need for one for the students between 7th and 12th grade, particularly males, as noted through a survey conducted back in 2001. We also noted that tribal students who lived and went to school outside of Mashpee and Cape Cod; make up the majority of tribal students, and generally performed better academically. The critical need seemed to be for students in Mashpee. The Ed Committee has had a myriad of challenges, but a BIE funded school is still on the agenda. Members of the Committee felt (and feel) that we need to take accountability for the academic development and success of our students as opposed to leaving it in the hands of a system that continually devalues the traditionally disenfranchised elements of the community (Natives, Blacks, Latinos of all economic levels and poor whites).

Get the Story:
Exclusive interview on the Mashpee Wampanoag school project (Cape Cod Today 5/23)