Mashpee Wampanoag woman honored for achievements

Amelia Bingham, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts, was presented with the fifth Pioneering Women award from Cape Cod Community College on Tuesday.

Bingham, 87, has spent her adult life on Indian issues. She helped incorporate the tribal council, served as the first Massachusetts Commissioner of Indian Affairs and worked as a coordinator for the White House Conference on Indian Education.

"She is a feisty woman. I hope I'm as strong as her," Stephanie Tobey-Roderick, a fellow tribal member, told The Cape Cod Times. "She's showed me strength and not to be afraid for what you believe in."

Bingham's complaints against the tribe's former chairman led to his indictment on federal charges. She's now pursuing a land claim against the state.

"It's an uphill battle all the time," Bingham told the Times. "I just feel I have to do certain things. I have to stand up for Indian rights. I don't always have support of people in Mashpee and it could be because they don't know what I'm trying to do."

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Cape college honors a 'powerful force' (The Cape Cod Times 3/31)

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