your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Glenn Marshall: A True Day of Thanksgiving
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Filed Under: Opinion | Recognition

Today, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's federal recognition becomes final. Glenn Marshall, the chairman of the tribe, submitted the following to thank the people who helped the tribe on its long road to recognition.

I have the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe. To some, we are known as the “Praying Indians” because of our establishment of and devotion to the oldest Christian church on Cape Cod. To others, we are known by the acts of our individual members; Crispus Attucks was the first casualty of the Revolutionary War and a Mashpee Indian. But as the tribe that met the Pilgrims disembarking from the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock some 400 years ago, we are commemorated in some small way each November in homes all across our United States.

Our ancestors’ decision to welcome the Pilgrims to their “new world”, the land our forefathers had inhabited for 5,000 years, enriched the history of our tribe despite the difficulties it would bring. We are proud to have been part of this important event in American history.

Today, however, marks a day of even greater importance in the life and history of our tribe. Nearly 400 years after the first Thanksgiving, the Mashpee Wampanoag today officially becomes the 563rd federally recognized Indian tribe in the United States.

Our journey has not been an easy one. We had to fight, crawl, and scratch – and their modern equivalents, lobby, sue, and appeal – all the way to the end. Yet we never doubted the importance of this struggle for justice nor did we stand alone throughout the decades of neglect.

And so today, we pause to thank those who helped us get to this day, who supported and encouraged us along the way. Our victory is their victory. Our joy is their joy. And our tears today are only for those that didn’t live to see the success they worked so hard to achieve.

First, we express our appreciation and admiration to our tribal elders. They started the initial campaign for recognition in 1932. A little over 40 years later, another generation of tribal leaders renewed the fight. Too many died before witnessing this day, but they will never be forgotten. We walk on their shoulders.

Our current tribal council and members deserve our gratitude for working together. Our disagreements never distracted us from the primary task at hand. We strongly thank our legal and governmental professionals who advised us over the course of the past 30 years.

We are grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The commonwealth has always recognized the Mashpee and many of its leaders, including Governor Deval Patrick, were among the first to call after we received our final determination.

We express our appreciation to the Town of Mashpee and its good people for helping us move beyond historical grudges and setting a new course of cooperation. There can be little doubt that the best days lie ahead for our beloved town.

Lastly, and perhaps surprisingly to some, we thank the federal government. We strongly believe in the promise and ideals of this country. In fact, our sons and daughters have fought on her behalf in every conflict since the Revolutionary War. That’s why it was so painful to have our status as a sovereign nation called in to question. However, we recognize that most federal officials were doing their job honestly and as best they could. That we were forced to wait decades for our decision is not evidence of bad will, but of a broken process that must be reformed.

And so, today, our adversary has become our partner and trustee. Since receiving our final determination three months ago, Mashpee tribal leaders and program managers have met with representatives in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Transportation, and other agencies to begin the process of obtaining overdue federal services for the tribe.

The most notable aspect of our interactions is the genuine enthusiasm displayed by those officials with whom we have met. All have been eager to apply their expertise and insights to meet the substantial needs of our tribal members.

For too long, we have had to fight our government, including some of these very same agencies. Today, both sides have put the conflicts of the past aside and are working together to improve the health, safety, and welfare of our community. We need this cooperation because there is so much work to be done.

Like any other government, the first priority of the Mashpee government will be to protect its people. However, our primary foes are not outside invaders, they are internal threats, such as poor health, brought on by years of neglect. Federal recognition will allow us to increase opportunities for better health, housing, and education, and we intend to do just that.

In the coming days, months, and years, we hope to create a strong government that brings honor not only to our forefathers, but to the ideals of tribal self-determination and sovereignty. We are excited to both assume the responsibilities and enjoy the rights that spring from the administration of a federally recognized government. In this regard, we have much to learn from our sister tribes across Indian Country and we hope you will continue to share your wisdom and counsel with us as we find our way.

Despite our tribe’s rich history, today is a day for looking ahead, for dreaming boldly about the future and how we have the opportunity and responsibility to make life better for our children. Yet, as we stand on the precipice of a new dawn, we wanted to pause to acknowledge those that allow us to dream. Nearly 400 years after the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe finally has cause for a day of thanksgiving.

Relevant Documents:
DOI Final Determination | Summary of Acknowledgment Cases | R. Lee Fleming Declaration

Only on Indianz.Com:
Federal Recognition Database V2.0 (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe -

Related Stories:
City welcomes Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (5/22)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still eyeing casino sites (5/18)
Mashpee Wampanoag casino leads to recall bid (5/17)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's casino faces vote (5/15)
Community debates Mashpee Wampanoag casino (5/14)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe still eyeing casino sites (5/10)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe stirs gaming talk (5/4)
Mashpee Wampanaog Tribe options more land (5/3)
Mashpee woman presses tribe to open books (03/21)
Opinion: Mashpee Wampanoag fought for recognition (3/5)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gets say on wind farm (3/1)
Commentary: Wampanoags helped Pilgrims survive (2/23)
Wampanoags warn relatives about casino push (2/23)
Federal Register: Mashpee recognition decision (2/22)
Mashpee Wampanoag recognition cost $8M (2/19)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe finally wins recognition (2/16)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe wins federal recognition (2/15)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe ready to go for gaming (2/15)
Wampanoag recognition decision comes early (2/14)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe shuns critics for 7 years (2/8)
Editorial: Mashpee Tribe neglects treasures (1/31)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe sued over finances (12/19)
Pombo denies being lobbied in Mashpee recognition (10/30)
State asks BIA about failed Mashpee land claim (10/12)
Town backs Mashpee Tribe's recognition bid (10/2)
Town to consider Mashpee Tribe's recognition (9/29)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe reports progress (08/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe seeks affordable housing (08/09)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe discusses recognition (07/27)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to meet over recognition (07/14)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe focuses on housing (7/6)
Response: Mashpees earned federal recognition (06/16)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to discuss recognition (6/14)
Opinion: Mashpee Wampanoags paid for recognition (06/08)
Mashpee Wampanoags see support for recognition (05/08)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe looks forward to future (04/06)
Lobbyists garner mention in recognition decision (4/4)
Mashpee Tribe avoids pitfalls on federal recognition (4/3)
Tribe anticipates big decision on recognition (3/31)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe awaits recognition (3/23)
Mashpee recongnition decision due this month (03/07)
Mashpee Wampanoag lobbying paid off in Washington (2/22)
Mashpee Wampanoag elders pass before recognition (2/20)
Mashpee Wampanoags await word on federal status (01/13)
Massachusetts tribe says scandal won't hurt case (01/05)
Mashpees call for tribe to cut ties to lobbyists (12/21)
Opinion: Mashpees disturbed by tribal lobbying (12/07)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe active in Washington (12/1)
Mashpee chair gave Abramoff e-mails to FBI (11/29)
Mashpee chairman happy with Abramoff work (11/22)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe tight on membership (10/11)
BIA assigns team to Mashpee Wampanoag petition (10/3)
Massachusetts tribe, town weigh recognition deal (09/16)
Massachusetts tribe won't make land claims (08/22)
Massachusetts tribe waits for answer on recognition (08/05)
Wampanoag teen joins tribe's Run for Recognition (07/28)
Massachusetts tribe waits for ruling on recognition (7/27)
Judge approves timeline for Mashpee recognition (7/26)
BIA proposes timeline for Mashpee recognition (7/19)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe steers clear of Abramoff (05/23)
Judge blasts BIA for delays in recognition case (02/15)
Wampanoag tribe back to court on recognition bid (2/14)
BIA opposes Pombo's federal recognition bill (2/11)
Bill addresses slow-moving recognition process (02/07)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe presses recognition bid (09/03)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe rubs elbows at RNC (9/1)
House panel sympathetic to tribes on recognition (04/01)
Federal recognition process subject of two hearings (03/31)
BIA delaying decision on Mass. tribe (12/20)
Mass. town accused of hindering recognition (10/30)
Jump in recognition petitions noted (06/12)
BIA recognition staff fails pressure test (05/31)
Wampanoag leader remembered (03/08)

Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Supreme Court rejects petitions in four more Indian law cases (10/5)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee weighs seven bills at hearing (10/5)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules business meeting (10/5)
Secretary Jewell heads to Oklahoma for tribal trust settlement (10/5)
IHS reopens comment period for Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe (10/5)
Native Sun News: Code Talker medals seen in traveling exhibit (10/5)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe and FEMA cooperate (10/5)
James Giago Davies: Don't let dominant culture dumb us down (10/5)
Vi Waln: Domestic violence comes in many forms on reservation (10/5)
Gyasi Ross: Republicans play games with Native women's rights (10/5)
Rosanna Deerchild: A terrifying reality facing indigenous women (10/5)
Steve Russell: Indians met Christianity at its most violent phase (10/5)
Alex Jacobs: Pope Francis honors symbol of genocide in America (10/5)
Joseph Hamilton: Tribal leaders must talk about disenrollments (10/5)
Tara Houska: Horror film treats Native peoples as relics of past (10/5)
Cow Creek Band employee lost son in deadly shooting in Oregon (10/5)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe fully booked for launch of pot resort (10/5)
Chukchansi Tribe picks leaders and hires gaming commissioners (10/5)
Cowlitz Tribe turned down Donald Trump for gaming partnership (10/5)
Eastern Cherokees see tangible benefits from gaming enterprise (10/5)
Navajo Nation to offer housing for employees of casino in Arizona (10/5)
Poarch Creeks lose ruling over slot machines at Florida racetrack (10/5)
Supreme Court agrees to hear Omaha Reservation boundary case (10/2)
BIA proclaims another 104 acres as reservation of Shakopee Tribe (10/2)
Native Sun News: Court hears case over soil farm near Pine Ridge (10/2)
Clara Caufield: The ups and downs of growing up as a 'half-breed' (10/2)
Steven Newcomb: Doctrine of domination hinders tribal land claim (10/2)
Ian Zabarte: Western Shoshone territory in Nevada is not for sale (10/2)
Sam Campbell: Catholic Church continues to celebrate genocide (10/2)
Maia Szalavitz: Stereotypes about Native Americans and alcohol (10/2)
Dartmouth removes director of Native program after controversy (10/2)
Guilty pleas for shootings of Indian men in Wyoming border town (10/2)
Santa Clara Pueblo seeks payment for use of land for utility lines (10/2)
Chairman of Mashantucket Tribe seeks another term on council (10/2)
Pro and Con: Lytton Band land-into-trust and development plan (10/2)
Chukchansi Tribe heads to vote as casino closure hits one year (10/2)
Spokane Tribe still waiting for answer on off-reservation casino (10/2)
Coquille Tribe awaits next step in bid for off-reservation casino (10/2)
Ione Band of Miwok Indians continues with long quest for casino (10/2)
Cobell scholarship fund now boasts nearly $30M from settlement (10/1)
Changes to Navajo Nation water rights settlement signed into law (10/1)
Alaska Native health corporation secures transfer of IHS property (10/1)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.