Martha's Vineyard Church to co-host "Listening Session" with Mashpee Wampanoag
Leaders hosting event May 4thevent to respond to recent federal initiatives to disestablish their tribe
By: Foote Communications
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MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass. - April 30, 2020 - PRLog -- Chairman Cedric Cromwell and Vice-Chairwoman Jessie little doe Baird of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury will co-host a listening session to discuss the Bureau of Indian Affairs' efforts to disestablish the tribe's reservation.
The one-hour "Listening Session" will take place via Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/91420383777?pwd=SjNra2pLcEFrMmFYMWIwWndoTjdGZz09) on May 4 between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. For dial-in, (929)205-6099, Meeting ID: 914 2038 3777, Password: 798988
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (https://www.mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/), also known as the People of the First Light, has inhabited nearly 321 acres in southern Massachusetts for more than 12,000 years. It has nearly 2,700 citizens enrolled. The tribe has launched a #StandwithMashpee campaign on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mwtribe/) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0lYAx5T5-c) and has received more than 271,000 signatures on a petition. (https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/stand-with-the-mashpee)
"The Secretary of the Interior has ordered that our reservation be disestablished and that our land be taken out of trust," said Chairman Cedric Cromwell. " Not since the termination era of the mid-twentieth century has a Secretary taken action to disestablish a reservation."
Rev. Cathlin Baker, minister, of First Congregational Church of West Tisbury (https://www.wtcongregationalchurch.org/), added, "When our church's newly formed Racial Justice Team heard about the federal order, they reached out to the Mashpee leadership to ask how they could be of assistance. We agreed that as a first step, our congregation and community would benefit from a Listening Session. As a nearly 350-year-old congregation founded on Wampanoag land, I believe we have a responsibility to honor and secure the sovereignty of the People of the First Light."
The "Listening Session" will include:
- A pre-session compilation and distribution of background materials
- Pre-submission of questions so that the Tribe can directly respond to the most pressing among them
- All-access, pre-registration for everyone interested in participating
Questions for the tribal leadership can be submitted in advance firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com).