February 15, 2007

Feds recognize Pilgrims' rescuers

Tribe at 1st Thanksgiving is recognizedThe tribe that shared in the first Thanksgiving celebration received federal recognition Thursday as a sovereign American Indian nation, 32 years after it began its quest.

The ancestors of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe were at the area where Plymouth was founded long before the Pilgrims arrived, but their population was nearly wiped out by war and disease.
Some history on the tribe:After the Pilgrims arrived in 1620, members of the Mashpee tribe dined with the English settlers at the first Thanksgiving. The harmony, though, gave way to a brief period of bloody war.

The tribe dominated the town of Mashpee until the 1960s, when home construction transformed the town and much of the Cape. It notified the government in 1975 that it planned to seek recognition but didn't file a petition until 1990.


Rob said...

I hope Russ will let us know whether the Wampanoags are real Indians or not. ;-)

Rob said...

There are several bands of Wampanoag Indians. If we're talking about the Mashpee Wampanoags, there's no court case pending. They were just recognized and now they're officially a tribe.

Rob said...

The Wampanoags are interested in pursuing a casino. But since they first sought recognition 32 years ago, or 13 years before the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passed, it's probably not their primary motivation.