Statement in Support of the Wampanoag Tribe

The following article, from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth, USA highlights the awful plight of the Wampanoag people.

I am writing this statement in the immediate aftermath of the Secretary of Interior’s wrongful decision to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s Reservation.

Four hundred years ago, a dedicated group of families now known as the Mayflower Pilgrims arrived in the New World to plant a new colony. The General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD) and others in the United States and abroad are commemorating this anniversary in 2020, and not just at Thanksgiving.

The Pilgrims were urban European people who knew very little about farming, especially in this new continent. How did they learn these skills? Native Americans of the Wampanoag tribe showed them how to plant and raise crops that were unfamiliar to them.

It is no exaggeration to state that the Pilgrims simply would never have survived without the help that they received from those Wampanoag people. Since the Pilgrims were the first families to locate to New England, the entire course of English settlement would have been altered without that support.

All Americans – not just the millions who are descended from the Pilgrims – owe the Wampanoag people a debt of gratitude.

How has the US recognized the debt that we owe to the Wampanoag people? The vast lands that their tribes once ruled have been reduced to just a few hundred acres, and on Friday, March 27, 2020 the US Department of the Interior announced to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe that they would even be denied this paltry remnant.

GSMD is on record supporting the Mashpee Wampanoag claim for reservation lands, and our organization respectfully requests that the Department of the Interior reverse its decision to rescind reservation designation for this tribe.

It would be unconscionable for us to stand aside while the people who supported our ancestors are denied their own rightful inheritance. We fully support the tribe in its quest to hold on to its reservation.

George Garmany, Governor General
General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD)

Statement in Support of the Wampanoag Tribe