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WCAI: Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe won't join Plymouth 400






Historical Wampanoag and Pilgrim re-enactors at Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts. Photo from Plymouth 400

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe won't be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrims, preservation officer Ramona Peters said:
For the Wampanoag who have called coastal Massachusetts their home for more than 10,000 years, the founding of Plymouth in 1620, doesn’t feel that far removed, nor does its 400th anniversary bring reason to rejoice.

“We won’t be celebrating," said Ramona Peters, the chief historical preservation officer for the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe. "I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not many native people that will be involved.”

As Peters sees it, the Wampanoag story and the Pilgrim story -- they can’t be put on the same stage.

“There’s an Indian story and then there’s a pilgrim story," she said. "It’s not a balanced story. It wasn’t balanced back then, it’s not balanced now.”

But organizers of Plymouth 400 say they want balance. Michele Pecararo is executive director for Plymouth 400. She sees the anniversary as an opportunity for the Wampanoag to share their side of the story,

“We really want the Wampanoag people to be able to use this anniversary to tell their own story," Pecararo said. "This 400th is, I think, a really great opportunity for us all to have all the stories told, including the Wampanoag story, told by the Wampanoag people and not by somebody else.”

Get the Story:
Some Wampanoag Leery of Plymouth 400 Commemoration (WCAI 7/22)