Wampanoag linguist celebrates receipt of $500K 'genius' award
Jessie Little Doe Baird, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts, cried when she was told she was one of 23 recipients of a prestigious "genius grant" from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

"Just that someone recognizes that what you do has value to greater humanity — it’s enough that your work is validated," Baird told The Martha's Vineyard Gazette after learning of the award in a phone call on September 13.

Then she was told she would receive $500,000 as part of the honor. "I said ‘Shut up! Are you kidding me?’ He said, ‘I’m not,’ and I said, ‘Well, I think you are, and whoever thought of this joke, it’s a damn good one,'" Baird told the paper.

The grant wasn't the only good news Baird received. Her Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project received a $530,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans to teach the Wampanoag language.

Get the Story:
Wopanaak Talk Leads Little Doe To Genius Grant (The Martha's Vineyard Gazette 10/1)
Ms. Baird, Wampanoag Language Program Given High Honors (The Falmouth Enterprise 10/1)

Related Stories:
Editorial: 'Genius' recipient returns Wampanoag language to life (9/30)
Mashpee Wampanoag linguist receives MacArthur 'genius grant' (9/28)