A sign at the Po Metacom Camp in Rhode Island asserts ownership by the Pokanoket Nation. Photo: Po Metacom Camp

Pokanoket Nation establishes encampment on land owned by Brown University

The Pokanoket Nation set up an encampment on ancestral land in Rhode Island on Sunday.

According to news reports, about 100 people are taking part in the Po Metacom Camp. It's located in Bristol, on a 375-acre parcel that houses the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's Collections Research Center of Brown University.

"We are here at Potumtuk, at the Seat of the Massasoit, to Pray for the Healing of the Land and to Restore the land to its Rightful Stewards. Potumuk, also known as Mt. Hope in Bristol, Rhode Island is the spiritual highground of the Pokanoket nation," an August 21 post on the camp's Facebook page stated.

The site is about half-hour drive from Brown University's main campus in Providence. The Ivy League institution issued a statement on Monday that asserted ownership of the land but respected the right of the tribe to assemble there.

"The property ownership was legally transferred to Brown, and the University has been a positive steward of the land. Brown has maintained clear legal title for more than 60 years," the statement read.

The area is known to the Wampanoag people as Potumtuk. It was a Pokanoket village and served as a lookout due to the high elevation at Mount Hope.

Metacomet, a Wampanoag leader also known as Metacom, frequently held meetings in Potumtuk. He was killed at Mount Hope in 1676 during King Philip's War. The Wampanoag people and their allies in the Narragansett Tribe suffered huge losses as European colonists claimed their homelands.

Read More on the Story:
Tribe sets up encampment on Brown University land (The Associated Press August 21, 2017)
Pokanoket Tribe occupies Bristol land, say it belongs to them not Brown (RIFuture.Org August 21, 2017)
Video and photos from the Pokanoket Nation encampment (RIFuture.Org August 21, 2017)
Pokanoket Nation forms encampment on University land in Bristol (The Brown Daily Herald August 21, 2017)
Members of Pokanoket tribe, supporters occupy Brown University land in Bristol (The Providence Journal August 21, 2017)

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