It was the Wampanoag People, the people of the first light, that encountered the Pilgrims when they arrived to Turtle Island (North America) from Europe in 1620. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States, mythologizing the violent events that followed European arrival into a story of friendship and mutual sharing. But the reality is that the Wampanoags’ generosity was met with genocide, and this truth has been systematically suppressed in the US education system, government, and popular culture. Hear from Cedric Cromwell, Tribal Council Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts, as he puts the first Thanksgiving into context regarding the issues facing the Wampanoag in Massachusetts today.
Cultural Survival caught up with Cromwell at a Thanksgiving Unity Reception held at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, November 2017.
Intro track: "Burn Your Village to the Ground" by A Tribe Called Red. Used with permission.
Background track: "Xul Kej" by Sotz'il. Used with permission.
Photo: Cedric Cromwell speaks at the Massachusetts State House in Boston, November 2017.