Wunee keesuq Tribal family,

As a tribal family, we share a special connection to our ancestral homeland. It’s a bond that cannot be broken. Last month we strengthened that bond between our people and our land at our annual homecoming. Our 98th Annual Powwow was by all accounts a tremendous success held right here on our ancestral homeland. We danced hard, connected with our culture, passed on traditions to our youth and enjoyed great food from our local chefs. It was a dose of good medicine that we all needed.

It’s good medicine that I’ve continued to carry with me even after the ceremonies ended. I’ve carried it with me as we continued the important work at our council table of protecting what is most sacred to our people, including the protection of our land. Our land is sacred and we will never stop fighting for it.

I also carry this good medicine with me as we continue to work through our disagreements. And I say work through because I know that we will come out on the other side of this challenging time as a unified tribal nation. Disagreements can and should be a natural process within a healthy government. It’s our responsibility – both at council and as citizens of our great nation - to disagree in a respectful way that protects the connections we all share as a tribal body and doesn’t fracture the bond that unifies us as Mashpee Wampanoag. Unity within our tribe and the love that we all share is sacred.

It’s the unity that results from Powwow that energizes us and I want to thank our Powwow Committee for organizing a successful homecoming. I want to thank them for reminding us that we are stronger together. That we are weaker when splintered and that we share a common bond that cannot be broken.

So much of the connections that I’ve been sharing in this month’s column can be found in our new Powwow Princess and Little Miss Wampanoag. These two young women are perfect examples of why Mashpee will shine tonight. Our Powwow Princess Alana Helme and Little Miss Wampanoag Sade’ Jackson will represent our culture and our land with honor over the next year. I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished and look forward to all that they will do to further connect our people over the coming year.

Our land is sacred. Our unity is sacred. Mashpee above everything!


Chairman Cedric Cromwell

Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)