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 Wampanoag tribe of Native Americans

In 1600 the Wampanoag probably were as many as 12,000 with 40 villages divided roughly between 8,000 on the mainland and another 4,000 on the off-shore islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The three epidemics which swept across New England and the Canadian Maritimes between 1614 and 1620 were especially devastating to the Wampanoag and neighboring Massachuset with mortality in many mainland villages (i.e. Patuxet) reaching 100%. When the Pilgrims landed in 1620, fewer than 2,000 mainland Wampanoag had survived. The island Wampanoag were protected somewhat by their relative isolation and still had 3,000. At least 10 mainland villages had been abandoned after the epidemics, because there was no one left. After English settlement of Massachusetts, epidemics continued to reduce the mainland Wampanoag until there were only 1,000 by 1675. Only 400 survived King Philip's War.

Still concentrated in Barnstable, Plymouth, and


counties of southeastern Massachusetts, the Wampanoag have endured and grown slowly to their current membership of 3,000. The island communities of Wampanoag on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket maintained a population near 700 until a fever in 1763 killed two-thirds of the Nantucket. It never recovered, and the last Nantucket died in 1855. The community Martha's Vineyard has sustained itself by adding native peoples from the mainland and intermarriage, but by 1807 only 40 were full-bloods. Massachusetts divided the tribal lands in 1842 and ended tribal status in 1870, but the Wampanoag reorganized as the Wampanoag Nation in 1928. There are currently five organized bands: Assonet, Gay Head, Herring Pond, Mashpee, and Namasket. All have petitioned for federal and state recognition, but only Gay Head (600 members but without a reservation) has been successful (1987). The Mashpee (2,200 members) were turned down by the federal courts in 1978.


Metacom (King Philip) (ca. 1637 - 1676)

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updated Wed. February 28, 2024

“I applaud the courageous leadership of Congressman Keating and his fellow congressional representatives from across the United States who are responsible for this bipartisan bill to protect our ancestral homeland,” said Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council. “It was our ...
That's how Tennant, the lead attorney for a group of East Taunton plaintiffs — who so far have succeeded in slamming the door on a Mashpee Wampanoag resort casino in Taunton — describes a Congressional bill that would reaffirm the tribe's right to reservation land in both Taunton and Mashpee.

MASHPEE — Congress may step in to end an ongoing legal challenge to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's efforts to secure reservation land and build a casino. A bill, sponsored by U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass. and co-sponsored by a cadre of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, would reaffirm a ...
MASHPEE – Bi-partisan legislation filed in Congress this week could help revive the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's casino plan in Taunton and stop the potential revocation of their land in trust. A group that includes 9th District Congressman William Keating, who represents the Cape and Islands, filed a bill ...
Kima King, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, demonstrates some yoga poses before her class at Wampanoag tribal headquarters Monday afternoon. King recently began teaching “Dancing Moon Yoga,” a tribal yoga focused on self-respect and kindness. [Merrily Cassidy/Cape Cod Times].
Cheryl Andrews-Maltais, chairwoman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), introduced Warren at the gathering as “a formidable force and an Indian country ally.” “She truly understands Indian country and what sovereignty really means,” Andrews-Maltais said. Cedric Cromwell is tribal council ...

TAUNTON - The U.S Department of the Interior has notified the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that it is still reviewing evidence to determine whether the tribe qualifies to have land taken into trust under a different legal category from one rejected by a federal judge in 2016, and will provide an update on that ...
TAUNTON — The U.S Department of the Interior has notified the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that it is still reviewing evidence to determine whether the tribe qualifies to have land taken into trust under a different legal category from one rejected by a federal judge in 2016 and will provide an update on that ...
Granny Squannit: Memories Of Mashpee Wampanoag Indigenous Recipes. By JOAN TAVARES ... Joan Tavares Avant, M.Ed., is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Wampanoag Deer Clan mother, and a former director of the Mashpee School District's Indian Education Program. She can be ...
MASHPEE – Despite the difficulty that the Mashpee Board of Selectmen is experiencing with setting up a meeting with the Wampanoag Tribe to discuss a mutual-aid agreement, they have extended a temporary one until December 31st. It had been scheduled to expire on the 28th of this month.

Mashpee Wampanoag tribal leaders have praised remarks made by US Senator Elizabeth A. Warren (D-Massachusetts). ... “We welcome Senator Warren's remarks and value her support and involvement, especially at this critical time as our tribe, the Mashpee Wampanoag, works to secure our reservation ...
The new installment, “Powwow,” adds to three other chapters previously created for the multimedia exhibit, “Our Story: 400 Years of Wampanoag History.” Plymouth 400, the group planning the 400th anniversary events in 2020 commemorating the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony, ...
MASHPEE — One of biggest regional producing theaters in the United Kingdom wants Wampanoag tribe members to take part in a “major work of community theater” aimed at retelling the story of the Mayflower's voyage to Massachusetts in part through the eyes of the Wampanoag people. Theatre Royal ...
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe members recite a unison prayer in November during their eighth annual Native American Day of Thanks Giving service at the Old Indian Meetinghouse. The tribe is waiting on a decision by the federal government on whether it qualifies to have land taken into trust on its behalf.
Traditional or not, blood quantum is the law of the land. You either buy in or you die out. Just another colonial reality we have little choice but to participate in. For me, the hierarchy has always been clear—if not Mashpee Wampanoag then Aquinnah or Herring Pond. If not Wampanoag then Narragansett.
MASHPEE – Members of the Mashpee Board of Selectmen and the Wampanoag Tribal Council met last night following a years-long back and forth regarding the handling of areas of mutual concern. The meeting took place at the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's Community and Government Center and ...
MASHPEE — The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is inviting members of the public to attend the “Taste of Mashpee” on Saturday at tribal government headquarters, according to a statement from the tribe. Those attending may sample dishes prepared by tribal members. The event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. The ...
MASHPEE – After a long period of trying, the Mashpee Board of Selectmen has arranged a meeting with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The hope is that the tribe will be prepared to discuss a number of important issues that have been on the table. Selectman Andrew Gottlieb said that the lengthy period ...



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