This posting received a response from Christine Sweet-Hart (BA Art History), who is "currently working on a catalogue raissone of Dallin's works in conjunction with the Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum and the Springville Museum of Art." Here are her comments and my responses:
I only know what I read, ma'am. The Salt Lake Tribune article said that Dallin "gained international recognition for his monumental, award-winning statues of American Indians and patriots."
Dallin the Indian activist?
Which "Algonquin Nation" do you mean? I believe there are nine Algonquin nations in Quebec and one in Ontario, but none in Massachusetts. And I'm not sure any of them go by the name "Algonquin Nation." So tell us more about this little-known fact.
Dallin the sensitive sculptor?
If I gave my collection of stereotypical Native comic books to a museum, I'd make sure the people understood the nature of the gift. For instance, "Use these for research purposes into how not to portray Indians. Don't use them as examples of how to portray Indians."
Did Dallin say anything like that? If not, he's partly responsible for the controversy a century later.
Massasoit the godlike warrior?
I wouldn't recommend a godlike figure even if the subject were a stereotypical Plains warrior, which the statue strongly resembles. But the subject was a dignified Wampanoag sachem, not a studly young buck. We don't have any pictures of Massasoit, but I doubt the typical sachem looked like this.
Second, the concept of the noble savage goes way back:
If Dallin still believed the myth of the noble savage, it wasn't as if alternative theories weren't available. We can credit him with portraying a positive stereotype instead of a negative one. But if he had studied the literature of the time, he could've depicted real Indians instead of stereotypical ones.
Interpreting Dallin's conscious intent may be important to you. But I've helpfully interpreted Dallin's unconscious intent for you. This intent was to depict Indians as mythical figures of the past, not as contemporaneous human beings.
For more on the subject, see Best Indian Monuments to Topple.
P.S. The Springville Museum of Art is in Utah, not in Massachusetts or an episode of The Simpsons.
Below: The identical (?) Massasoit statue at BYU.