Wunee keesuq Tribal family,
We are a strong, resilient and intelligent people. You can’t walk through our land, visit our homes or our Community and Government Center without seeing just how correct that statement is. We are strong. We are resilient. We are intelligent. These are facts that cannot be changed.
Yes, we have differences of opinion. That’s a sign of a healthy community. We can have disagreements and work through them in a healthy way. It’s only when these disagreements are weaponized for public consumption that it begins to tear at the fabric of our great nation and weaken our position as a people. We have too much positive work taking place day in and day out to continue to be sidetracked by a continuous pattern of bad behavior. That’s why we have a strong, independent judicial system.
We have a language program and immersion school that’s a model for all of Turtle Island. Our next generation of leaders are receiving a quality education that’s grounded in the strength of our culture and traditions. They are doing amazing work at Mukayuhsak Weekuw and with additional grant funding and support that’s come in over the past few months, it will continue to flourish.
Our housing project continues to move forward on schedule. That’s 42 units of affordable housing for tribal members on our reservation land. That’s an amazing accomplishment that will make sure our people will never be homeless on their homeland.
Our Education Department continues to open paths of opportunity for our young adults with tutoring and support. Just last month tribal students were able to connect directly with UMASS Dartmouth and Tufts University and attend the Native Food Sovereignty Summit in Green Bay. These are the type of opportunities our youth did not have 15 years ago. We’ve come a long way.
We have an amazing health support network with Tribal Health Services and Indian Health Services. That network continued to grow last month with the addition of our new dentist, Dr. Tempestt Evans. She’s the first Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal member to hold this position. Her commitment to serving her people is real.
We also continue to strengthen our government to government relations on the federal, state and local level. David Weeden ran a solid campaign to bring needed balance to the Mashpee Board of Selectman. He focused on the issues that are important to all of us – clean water, housing and jobs – and the voters of Mashpee responded. He was elected as the newest Selectman in Mashpee on October 1. There hasn’t been a tribal member on the board since Chuckie Green held a seat from 2000 – 2009. David’s appointment will further connect the town and our Tribe support networks.
There’s a never-ending list of amazing work that’s being accomplished right here in the land of the Mashpee Wampanoag. I point this out because it’s important to understand what we are collectively working towards. It’s important that we continue to be a productive nation that ensures our Tribe will continue to thrive for the next seven generations.
Our land is sacred. Our unity is sacred. Mashpee above everything else.
Chairman Cedric Cromwell
Qaqeemasq (Running Bear)