Wunee keesuq Tribal family,

For over 12,000 years we have remained a people on our ancestral homeland. In that time our people have persisted in the face of insurmountable odds. In that time we have remained here, on our land, as a people in spite of disease, war, forced cultural assimilation, racism, and continued political injustice.

It’s not in our nature to stand idly by while our rights as indigenous people on this land are attacked and an administration with oversight threatens to take regressive action that’s reminiscent of the Indian Termination policy of the 1960’s. It’s not right and it’s not what this Country should be aspiring towards.

Right now our land remains in trust, but it will not be secure without action from Congress and the Senate. That’s why we’ve been working tirelessly for well over a year to pass legislation that would protect our way of living and create a model for other Native Tribes. I ask all of you to stand with me in solidarity for the Mashpee Wampanoag Reaffirmation Act HR 5244 and Senate Bill S 2628.

I encourage everyone to contact their legislator and express their support for these two bills. We’ve placed information on our website to help you contact your legislators. It’s extremely important that we all work together and shed our light on the injustice of our people.

As we stand in solidarity as a Tribe in Mashpee, you should know that we are not fighting this injustice alone. The decision by the Department of Interior to reject the numerous pieces of evidence presented – some directly from Congress – that we have been under federal jurisdiction during various points in history have galvanized others to stand with us from across this nation. NCAI along with our friends and neighbors across Indian Country are standing with us recognizing that a wrong needs to be corrected.

Know that we will persist through this latest attack on our way of living. We will not abandon our traditional way of life and will continue to honor our culture and heritage by remaining connected to this land. This is not a fight that we will abandon. We will persist and we will succeed.

Chairman Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)