Wunee keesuq Tribal family,
We have an amazing tribal community and network of friends across Turtle Island. Over the past month our people have been turning out in droves to protect our sovereignty – participating in grassroots efforts, writing letters and informing neighbors about this injustice. We took our message directly to legislators in DC last month and believe me when I say they heard us. Thank you to everyone that has and continues to support our sovereign rights.
This administration wants to say our Tribe, the tribe that helped a group of struggling settlers from England survive the winter months and executed the first land grant to the white settlers, are no longer Indian enough for treaty rights and federal status to apply. That’s just wrong on so many levels and we will not allow this country to take such a big step backwards.
Our ancestors helped the settlers plant corn, survive winter and brokered the first peace agreement, without which their colony – and by extension the United States – would have never existed. Our roots run deep and if they come for us you can bet they will be coming for our brothers and sisters around Indian Country shortly after. If they can say we are not Indian enough to have trust land then by their own figures from the Department of Interior there’s at least another 128 tribes that could lose their reservation as well.
They want to bring back the termination era. That’s why we’re taking this fight to the legislative branch. Congress has the ultimate plenary authority to protect tribes and we’re now asking them to return the favor we provided to the pilgrims 400 years ago.
Our future lies on these lands. Our tribal offices and community center, a future housing development, a language immersion school, community gardens and health services all reside on our trust lands. These are integral to the survival of our people, our culture and way of living.
Despite these challenges these important services have continued uninterrupted. This is a testament to our strong will and commitment to thrive as a tribal body.
Even as we ease into the winter cold those services that our most vulnerable population rely continue on unhampered. Our Health Offices are well staffed, Emergency Preparedness has organized teams ready to respond during the most brutal conditions, LIHEAP will keep the heat going in tribal homes, the food pantry is stocked, the Elders Department is open and the Housing Department is keeping a roof over our heads. Our Tribal operations and staff work tirelessly for our people and I cannot thank them enough for all that they do.
We are Mashpee Strong
Chairman Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)